Cave Hero Widow Takes Same Airport Guard Job as ‘Sgt. Sam’

SAMUT PRAKAN — The widow of a retired Navy SEAL who died early July during a volunteer mission to rescue 13 people from a flooded Chiang Rai cave will take up the same job as her late husband.

Valeepoan Kunan, 40, will become a security guard at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the same job Lt. Cmdr. Saman “Sgt. Sam” Kunan took leave from to volunteer to save the Wild Boars, Airports of Thailand announced Monday.

The announcement came at an awards ceremony honoring 31 airport authority employees who volunteered for the cave rescue. Valeepoan also received an award.

Samarn Kunan, aka “Sgt. Sam,” died during a July 6 dive to resupply the route that would be used to later rescue the 13 boys and their football coach. The only fatality of the arduous operation, he was posthumously promoted and a statue is being erected in his honor at the site of the cave.


sgt sam
Photos: @Valeepoan_sinmongkolsup / Instagram

Related stories:

Wild Boars Ordain as Monks to Thank ‘Sgt. Sam’

King Promotes Fallen Rescue Hero

Chiang Rai Artist Offers 10M Baht for Cave Monument


Wife of ‘Sgt. Sam’ Mourns on Social Media

Crematorium for Cave Rescuer ‘Sgt. Sam’ Complete

‘Sgt. Sam,’ Cave Rescue Hero Who Wanted to ‘Bring Boys Home’