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Army Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Robinson

Died March 25, 2006 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

36, Brandon, Miss.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, Mississippi Army National Guard, Jackson, Miss.; killed March 25 when his Humvee came under enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Sangain District, Afghanistan.

Miss. soldier was prepared to die for his country

By Holbrook Mohr

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — Before he shipped out, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher L. Robinson told his father he was prepared to give his life for his country.

Robinson, 36, became the first Mississippi National Guard soldier to die in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion began in 2001. Family members said Robinson’s funeral will be Saturday; one week after his Humvee came under enemy fire in the Sangain district of that country.

“It was his heart’s desire to grow up and be a soldier,” Ola Buntin, Robinson’s aunt, said Wednesday. “The last thing he told his dad before he left when George (Robinson) started to cry was, ‘Don’t cry for me if I get killed where I’m going. It would be the most honorable thing I could ever do — to die for my country.”

Flags flew at half staff this week in Brandon, a Jackson suburb of about 17,000 people, where Robinson had settled with his wife, Tamara, and two young children. Those close to the soldier say his family was the most important thing in his life.

Buntin, who most people call Meemaw, said Robinson came from a long line of soldiers, and often read military books during his childhood.

“I can’t tell you what a wonderful, wonderful hero he is. Chris died for everybody to be free,” she said. “He died for the people that protested the war and he died for the people that supported the military.”

Master Sgt. Reese Robbins, a Pelahatchie native who was shot in the shoulder during the attack, accompanied Robinson’s body back to the United States, Buntin said.

Robbins’ ex-wife, Neki Robbins, said the two men had become close friends in the 16 years they served together.

Ramona Prince, Robinson’s cousin, said the soldier was always up for a good time and loved to sky dive and water sports.

“Once when I lived in southern California he came to visit and I had this old car and he said, ‘Hey cousin, we’ve got to rent a convertible and I’m going to wear my cowboy hat for the occasion,” Prince recalled. “We went in 50-50 on a convertible Mustang and drove all over Los Angeles. He was just so much fun.”

Prince said Robinson’s daughter, 5-year-old Savannah, realized that something had happened to her father.

“She said, ‘I know my daddy is gone, but I had a fun daddy,”’ Prince said of the little girl.

Robinson joined the military in 1987 after graduating from Madison High School, and had previously deployed with his Special Forces unit to Bolivia, Argentina and Kosovo.

He was also an Eagle Scout and the family is asking that people donate money to the Boy Scouts of America in lieu of flowers.

Robinson was a member of Headquarters Detachment, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group in Jackson.

The family said visitation will be held at Wright and Ferguson Funeral home in Madison on Friday beginning at 4 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at First Baptist Church in Madison with burial at Natchez Trace Cemetery.

* * * * *

Guard soldier from Brandon killed in Afghanistan

JACKSON, Miss. — An Army National Guardsman from Brandon was killed in Afghanistan, officials announced Sunday.

Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Robinson, 36, was killed Saturday when he was shot during a combat patrol near the Sangain District of Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Tim Powell said.

Robinson was a member of the guard’s Headquarters Detachment, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group based in Jackson.

“The death of Christopher Robinson is a great loss for the citizens of Mississippi,” Gov. Haley Barbour said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Maj. Gen. Harold Cross, the adjutant general of Mississippi, said “we once again are painfully reminded of the high cost of freedom. Chris was one of our state’s and nation’s finest and he will be greatly missed.”

About 160 members of the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces were mobilized as part of Operation Enduring Freedom last September. They arrived in Afghanistan in January.

This is the second deployment for most soldiers in the battalion; about 190 were deployed to Afghanistan in 2003.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, Powell said.

— Associated Press

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