Sunday, March 27, 2011

Florence B. Choe, Navy, Lieutenant -- Rest In Peace

Florence B. Choe, 35

Navy, Lieutenant
Based: Camp Shaheen, Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan
Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: March 27, 2009
Camp Shaheen, Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan
Married, 1 child
Gender: Female
Hometown: El Cajon
High School: Monte Vista High (Spring Valley)
Burial: Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego

On March 27 [2009], in circumstances still being investigated, Choe and another Navy office were shot and killed by an Afghan National Army soldier at Forward Operating Base Shaheen near Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan's Balkh province, which borders Uzbekistan. She was 35.

Lt. j.g. Francis L. Toner IV, 26, of Westlake Village, also died in the attack.

"We're all pretty much devastated," said Cmdr. Con Yee Ling, a neonatologist at Naval Medical Center San Diego, her voice breaking. "She went there on a humanitarian mission. We all expected her to come home."

She went to the Navy recruiter just days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and was commissioned five months later.

Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, commander of Naval Medical Center San Diego, said Choe was an outstanding officer who made a "lasting impact" on issues including quality control while assigned as the executive assistant to the hospital's governing board.

Hunter said she was not surprised that Choe volunteered to be what the Navy calls an "individual augmentee" in Afghanistan, even with its dangers. "She fully understood that Navy medicine's mission is to reach out to other nations," she said.

In her off hours, Choe was a runner and a snowboarder.

Choe is survived by her husband, Lt. Cmdr. Chong "Jay" Choe, a urology resident at the medical center; their 3-year-old daughter, Kristin; her mother and father, Francisca Bacong and Rufino Bacong Sr.; and two brothers, Rufino "Ruffy" Bacong Jr. and Ron Bacong. Choe and her husband lived in El Cajon, in San Diego County.
Please read the entire LA Times article about Navy Lieutenant Florence B. Choe here,
read an LA Times tribute to her here 
and find more at Military Times.
Florence B. Choe with her husband, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chong "Jay" Choe, and daughter, Kristin.

Lieutenant Choe previously remembered at Boom3.

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