1st Lt. ROBERT F. WELCH
Combat Action Ribbon
Purple Heart Army Achievement Medal/with Bronze Service Star
Overseas Service Ribbon and Bar
Army Service Ribbon
ROBERT (ROBBY) F. III, 26,
Fort Worth Star Telegram
UT-Arlington graduate killed in Afghanistan
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A young lieutenant who graduated from the
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
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
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
"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
"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
"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
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Robert F. Welch III, 26, of
He was less than three years into his military career.
Welch attended high school in
Welch is the third member of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke based at
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mecolus C. McDaniel, 33, of
U.S. Army Sgt. Kristopher James Gould of
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
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.
WAR ON TERROR
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