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1st Lt. ROBERT F. WELCH
US ARMY

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Medals Awarded
Combat Action Ribbon
Bronze Star
Purple Heart

Global War on Terrorism Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Army Achievement Medal/with Bronze Service Star
Overseas Service Ribbon and Bar
Army Service Ribbon
NATO Medal

WELCH, ROBERT (ROBBY) F. III, 26, Wylie High School class of 2003, started 24 consecutive games as an offensive lineman for the Wylie football Pirates. Attended the University of North Texas, graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington class of 2008. 1st Lt. US Army,  Ordinance Officer, Company B, 201st Brigade, Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke. Robby died 3 April, 2011, of wounds sustained during a mortar barrage on his position in Khost Province, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani Border,  when his unit came under attack from enemy combatants while patrolling the perimeter of his forward operating base. Buried at the DFW National Cemetery. 

Fort Worth Star Telegram
UT-Arlington graduate killed in Afghanistan
By Chris Vaughn  cvaughn@star-telegram.com

A young lieutenant who graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington and entered the U.S. Army was killed Sunday in Afghanistan on his first combat deployment.
First Lt. Robert F. Welch III, 26, of Wylie died of wounds sustained when a mortar shell landed near him while he was patrolling the perimeter of his forward operating base in the Khost province, near the Pakistani border, according to the Defense Department and a family friend. (The Defense Department incorrectly listed his hometown as Denton, according to friends.)
He was an ordnance officer in Company B, 201st Brigade Support Battalion in the storied 1st Infantry Division. "When the soldiers on the FOB found out, over 200 of them lined up to give blood for Robby," said Morris Vincent, a longtime family friend. "They just couldn't retrieve the blood fast enough."
Lt. Welch's body returned to U.S. soil Tuesday at Dover Air Force Base, Del., and was met by his father, Robert Welch II, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, and Lt. Welch's wife, Becky. Services are pending, but he will be buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
Lt. Welch graduated from UT-Arlington in 2008 with a degree in military science and was commissioned as a second lieutenant, which was precisely what his friends and family knew he would do. His first Army post was Fort Knox, Ky.
"He had been in JROTC in high school, so it was clearly what he wanted to do," Vincent said. "He really loved his country. There are all kinds of reasons people sign up -- his was duty-oriented." In the UT-Arlington corps of cadets, Lt. Welch had a reputation as a superb motivator and listener for younger cadets, said retired Maj. Ricardo Diaz, the commandant.
"He was a tremendous individual, a real role model for other cadets, always reliable, fun to be around," Diaz said.
Lt. Welch was one of three cadets who, in 2008, proposed the idea of marching from Arlington to Fort Hood to commemorate a road march in 1960 by UT-Arlington cadets, known as "the Long March." But the 155-mile journey didn't happen until 2010, and by then, Lt. Welch was busy in the Army.
"We definitely had him in our thoughts when we did the march, if you know what I mean," Diaz said. "We thought, 'Who came up with this idea? WELCH!!'"
In Wylie, a town east of Plano in Collin County, Lt. Welch played football, participated in Junior ROTC and served as a leader in his church youth group, Vincent said. He graduated from high school there in 2003.
"Our church has at least one annual mission trip, mostly abroad," he said. "He was very involved with the youth group. Anytime there was a mission opportunity, he knew he would be going."
His hometown was also where he met his wife, who gave birth to their first child last year, Robert Welch IV.
Among his awards were the Army Achievement Medal, as well as the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, both awarded posthumously. He is also survived by his mother, Barbara Welch, and sister, Jane.

The News Enterprise
Hardin County, Kentucky

A Fort Knox soldier on his first combat tour in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, died Sunday from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his base with indirect fire.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Robert F. Welch III, 26, of Denton, Texas, was an ordnance officer assigned to Company B, 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke.
He was less than three years into his military career.
Welch attended high school in Wylie, Texas, and attended the University of North Texas in Denton from 2003-2007.
Welch is the third member of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke based at Fort Knox to die in the last six weeks in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mecolus C. McDaniel, 33, of Fort Hood, Texas, was a cavalry scout assigned to Troop A, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment. He died March 19 from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.
U.S. Army Sgt. Kristopher James Gould of Saginaw, Mich., who had been stationed at Fort Knox for 16 months died Feb. 27 from injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
Gould, 25, was an infantryman assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke.
Welch began his service in October 2008 and arrived at Fort Knox in July 2009.
Welch’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and Bar and the Army Service Ribbon.
He has been awarded the NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously.
Fort Knox will hold a memorial service in 1st Lt. Welch’s honor at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Prichard Place Chapel here.  A memorial service is scheduled to take place in Afghanistan Thursday.

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