This week’s news of missile threats by the North Korean government against the island of Guam, a U.S. territory, has Killeen-area residents from Guam very concerned.
Carlos Leon Guerrero, who operates Finadene — a Guam food truck — in the Killeen area, was born in the U.S. His father, Isidro Leon Guerrero was born in Guam, and lived through the Japanese occupation of the island during World War II.
“This is just too much for the island to be going through,” Guerrero said. “They’ve already been wiped out enough previously.”
A member of the Chamorro Association of Central Texas, Frank Tyquiengco is worried about his father, brothers and sisters.
“I’ve had friends calling to see if I’m OK,” he said. “All we can do is pray.”
Alyssa Lefever is the instructor for the Guma Inetnon Famagu’on Guahan Cultural Dance Group in Killeen. She has invited members of the dance group to a candlelight vigil and prayer for Guam at her residence at 7 p.m. Friday.
Her personal concern about the news reports is that mainlanders do not realize Guam is U.S. soil, and Chamorros — the name for people from Guam — are U.S. citizens.
Lefever is worried about the potential for not just damage to the island, but also loss of the rich culture of her people. “We the Chamorru people of all the Mariana Islands, are caught in the cross hairs of the war of words between two of the world’s biggest bullies,” she said.
If North Korea makes good their threats, “What will our future generations have to look forward to?” Lefever added.
For these Chamorros and others, finding a diplomatic solution to this tense confrontation would be best.
As Guerrero phrased it: “Hopefully the U.S. will go in there and put their foot down, and not let the North Koreans do anything.”
Tyquiengco echoed that sentiment: “I hope the situation de-escalates, and the military stops the missiles from hitting Guam.”