Former UH Hilo Student Featured in Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" Article

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: Jan 12, 2004

A U.S. Army soldier who attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is mentioned in Time Magazine‘s "Person of the Year 2003" issue, dated December 29, 2003 -January 5, 2004. SPC Bernard Talimeliyor is one of a dozen soldiers featured in the article, "Person of the Year 2003: Portrait of a Platoon" honoring "The American Soldier."

The 24-year-old Talimeliyor, from the state of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia, attended UH Hilo in 2000-2001. According to Time‘s article on Talimeliyor‘s unit, Survey Platoon, Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment of the 1st Armored Division, he was so moved by the events of 9-11 he left school to join the Army, even though he personally had never been to the Mainland U.S.

"We are justifiably proud of Bernard and of all our men and women who serve America in the United States Armed Forces," said UH Hilo Chancellor Dr. Rose Tseng. "While he has chosen to delay his pursuit of a degree, at least for the time being, he has done so because he has found a calling in the service of the United States."

Talimeliyor‘s unit, nicknamed "The Tomb Raiders," is on the front line in the Baghdad neighborhood of Adhamiya, in the words of Time, "patrolling streets, conducting raids, hunting insurgents and imposing order in one of the most volatile neighborhoods of Baghdad."

"Bernard has our hopes for peace in the Middle East, and our wishes and prayers for his safe return and the return of all our men and women in uniform deployed in the peacekeeping efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan," Tseng said.

According to the magazine‘s editors, the naming of "The American Soldier" as Time‘s "Person of the Year 2003," they use the term "soldier" in the broadest sense, signifying all U.S. Armed Service members who put themselves in harm‘s way. The article focused on the diverse background of the 12 platoon members and how they depend on each other to stay alive in Baghdad‘s tough streets.

"How great that a young FSM citizen happens to be in the platoon that Time magazine chose to feature," said Tanya Harris Joshua, first secretary for Political and Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia in Washington, D.C.

"Micronesians who are serving or who have served and their families would be pleased to know that they don't go unnoticed in their service and sacrifices fighting alongside the American soldier."