Top military officers, family pay respects to fallen sailor from Sudan mission

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Top military and government officials joined family members and friends in paying last respects to a Royal Thai Navy officer who died of malaria while on a peacekeeping mission in Sudan.

Petty Officer 1st Class Pipatpoom Srikadkao died Aug. 17 in the Darfur region where 800 Thai troops were working in the joint African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation. Pipatpoom had telephoned his wife, Nathakmol, only days before saying he was in the hospital suffering from the flu.

Father and grieving widow accept compensation for Lieutenant Commander Pipatpoom Srikadkao, who died in service of his country. Father and grieving widow accept compensation for Lieutenant Commander Pipatpoom Srikadkao, who died in service of his country.

Royal Thai Marine Corps Vice Adm. Pongsak Phureeroj, Royal Thai Army Region 1 Development Director Maj. Gen. Hasapong Yuwanawattana and Foreign Ministry international organizations Deputy Director Supattra Srimaitreepitak attended the Aug. 27 funeral at the Sattahip Naval Base crematorium.

Fellow sailors and family members also were on hand and watched as military representatives presented Nathakmol with 2.35 million baht in compensation. The Royal Thai Navy posthumously promoted Pipatpoom to lieutenant commander. He is survived by two daughters, ages 1 and 4 months, and parents Prayong and Khumsaenkhod Srikhudkhao in the northeast province of Kalasin

Nathakmol said she knew her husband was ill, but never expected he’d die.

Pipatpoom’s father, Prayong said he was sad to have lost his son, but was proud he died in service of his country. He said he worries, however, about his two nieces who are now fatherless.

Petty Officer 1st Class Theerasak Booncharoen, who worked with Pipatpoom, said the sailor was a hard worker and generous to everyone.

The Thai-Darfur Task Force 980 left Thailand for Sudan on Dec. 4 on a mission to join UNAMID. Thai troops were tasked with conducting patrols, providing protection to civilians, UN facilities, convoys and the UN and other humanitarian workers, as well as providing medical service. Their assignments will complement the peace process in Darfur.