America ReFramed

Island Soldier

Season 06  Episode 16

Filmed in Kosrae, Micronesia, ISLAND SOLDIER follows the Nena family as they grieve the loss of their son, Sapuro “Sapp” Nena. His death in Afghanistan makes waves through the community where nearly everyone is connected to the U.S. Military. Known as a "recruiter's paradise," Micronesia, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean, contributes a disproportionate number of soldiers to the American armed forces, who cannot receive benefits. Yet, scores of young men leave their families behind in pursuit of the American Dream.

The film also follows the father of a currently deployed service man, a young enlistee, and a soldier on active duty, as well as Sapp’s best friend who travels from the U.S. to Kosrae to pay his respects to the family in mourning. Together, these stories bring to light the little-known history of the impoverished island nation and its complex relationship with the U.S. military, and the unrecognized sacrifices of foreign soldiers who fight America's wars.