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Army Pfc. Robert L. Repkie

Died June 24, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

20, of Knoxville, Tenn.; assigned to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died June 24 at Forward Operating Base Farah, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a noncombat-related incident

‘He made a difference in my life’

The Associated Press

Robert Repkie’s dad wanted him to get a college education before he joined the military. But the young man dreamed of leading and wanted to pay his dues.

“Dad, how can I command troops if I don’t know what they went through?” Repkie told his father, Russell Repkie.

Robert Repkie was remembered as a happy, intelligent and funny person who joined the Army to continue his family’s history of military service. He primarily worked as a cook while on his deployment to Afghanistan, but he also had been trained as a gunner and sometimes went out on missions in the turret.

The 20-year-old from Sweetwater, Tenn., died June 24 at Forward Operating Base Farah, Afghanistan, in an incident unrelated to combat. The military is investigating. Repkie was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

The soldier’s stepsister, Letiscia Loepp, said the two were close and considered themselves biological siblings.

Repkie also made sure to keep in touch with teachers and counselors back at Sweetwater High School. Staff at the school said Repkie would send them Facebook messages and call them from Afghanistan before class started.

“It’s our job to make a difference in a child’s life,” principal David Watts said. “But he made a difference in my life.”

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