Charles D. Robinson – Captain, United States Army

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 558-05
June 05, 2005
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs – (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They were killed on June 3 at Forward Operating Base Orgun-E in Afghanistan when their convoy vehicle was struck by an improvised expolsive device.  They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The soldiers are:

Staff Sergeat Leroy E. Alexander, 27, of Dale City, Virginia
Captain Charles D. Robinson, 29, of Haddon Heights, New Jersey


Services set for soldier who died in Afghanistan

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

PEMBERTON TWP. – A memorial service will be held Saturday for Capt. Charles D. Robinson, who was killed June 3 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan.

Robinson, who was born in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, served in Operation Enduring Freedom with the Army Special Forces Command. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

He is survived by his wife, Laura of Fayetteville, North Carolina; his parents Rev. Charles and Janet Robinson of Browns Mills; a brother, Jeffrey of Cedarville, Ohio; and a sister, Christine, a junior at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona.

Services will be held at 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, Magnolia and Scrapetown roads, Pemberton Township. He will be buried with full military honors on July 5 at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Captain Charles D. Robinson Memorial Fund, First Citizens Bank, 1701 Owen Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28304.

Service will be held for slain soldier

Courtesy of the Burlington County Times

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY – A memorial service will be held this weekend for an Army Special Forces soldier who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.

The service for Captain Charles D. Robinson, 29, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church, Magnolia and Scrapetown roads, said his father, the Rev. Charles L. Robinson Jr. of Pemberton Township.

Robinson was killed June 3 when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle. He was a member of the Army's 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“We wanted to give family and friends in this area a chance to come and remember him,” his father said.

Robinson will be buried with full military honors July 5, 2005 at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

The U.S. Army had a service for Robinson at Fort Bragg on June 10, his father said. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Charles L. Robinson said his son had been in Afghanistan since November and was four to seven weeks away from coming home at the time of his death.

“He told his wife (Laura) that he felt there was honor in what he was doing in Afghanistan,” Charles L. Robinson said. “He felt it was important that Christians were there doing the work because of the moral character that was required.”

Charles Robinson Killed in Afghanistan

June 9, 2005

United States Army Captain Charles Daniel Robinson, a 1998 graduate of Cedarville University and Army ROTC commissionee, was killed in Afghanistan on Friday, June 3, 2005.

According to his brother Jeff, Charles and another member of his unit were killed when the vehicle in which they were riding encountered an IED (improvised explosive device) and exploded. A third unit member in the vehicle was severely  burned and is at the Army's burn unit at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas.

Charles’s  remains  were  flown to Dover Air Force Base.

A memorial service will  be  held  at  Fort  Bragg, North Carolina (where Charles and his wife Laura [Brown] were stationed), on Friday, June 10. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery on July 5 at 1:00 p.m. with full military honors because of his sacrificial service with distinction as an officer in the U.S. Military.

The military service at Fort Bragg will give the Special Operations Forces an opportunity to honor Charles.

Charles  was the son of Chuck and Jan Robinson, former ABWE missionaries in Paraguay and Chile. Charles’s testimony  and  witness was impacting his comrades  in Afghanistan. They deeply respected and loved their commanding officer.

29 April 2008:

An urgent message awaited Charles and Janet Robinson when they came home from dinner that evening in June 2005.

The wife of their son's battalion commander had phoned: Call your daughter-in-law immediately, she instructed the Browns Mills couple.

Their hearts sank as they prepared for the news they had feared most. Army Captain Charles D. Robinson, their bright and pensive son, had been killed in Afghanistan.

The 29-year-old Special Forces officer, who attended Baptist Regional School in Haddon Heights, was riding in a heavily armored humvee through Orgun-e in southeastern Afghanistan when an antitank mine exploded. One more month and he was to have returned Stateside.

“It's difficult to say what we will miss most about Charlie,” said his father, a Baptist minister who, with his wife, has found comfort in a Christian grief counseling group for parents.

The U.S. military death toll will soon reach 500 in Afghanistan, where the war has received less media attention than the conflict in Iraq despite an increasingly violent insurgency, the resurgence of al-Qaeda, and a growing commitment of troops.

Robinson is one of 11 New Jerseyans who have lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom since it began in 2001. Also mourning are the families of 17 Pennsylvanians and one Delawarean.

The coalition's success in Afghanistan has come at a terrible cost for the loved ones of those who have died in that rugged, faraway land. Almost three years after Robinson's death, his family feels his absence keenly.

“Charlie was always very mature and thought about things a lot,” said the Rev. Charles Robinson, 59, who now lives with his wife in Southampton, Burlington County. “He thought through the issues of life and what he wanted to do.”

charles-janet-robinson-photo-01Charles and Janet Robinson, with the case that contains the flag
they received after their son was killed in Afghanistan

In one of his letters, the soldier wrote of the importance of the mission, not only politically and militarily, but also spiritually. “Charlie's faith was important to him,” said his father, a former missionary whose work took the family to Paraguay and Chile. His son wanted the world to associate the U.S. military with men and women of principle, he said.

“He wrote that believers should be doing what he was doing because of the need there for the moral character of Christians,” the elder Robinson said. “There was honor in what he was doing.”

Until they lost their son, the Robinsons did not realize the impact he had on the people around him.

While at his grave at Arlington National Cemetery a couple of years ago, the Robinsons stopped to talk to relatives paying their respects to Staff Sergeant Leroy Alexander of Dale City, Virginia, who was killed in the same explosion.

When they turned back to their son's grave, they saw a young man kneeling in prayer.

“We waited until he was done and went over,” said Charles Robinson, a Vietnam veteran who attended Philadelphia College of Bible, now Philadelphia Biblical University. “He told us he had served with Charlie in the 82d Airborne at Fort Bragg and was interning that summer with a member of Congress.

“He said Charlie was the one who had encouraged him to go into government service,” he said.

The soldier told the Robinsons that whenever he was having a hard time, he asked himself, “What would Charlie do?” said Janet Robinson, 61.

From an early age, the younger Robinson had known a life of faith and duty. “He was a big help to us in our work,” his father said.

At religious services during the family's time in South America, Charlie – who lived in Haddon Heights as a boy – played guitar and witnessed to young people about his faith in their own language.

He spent much of his life in Paraguay, then returned to New Jersey to attend Baptist Regional School, where he played soccer. His family later resumed its missionary work in Paraguay, and he graduated from Asunción Christian Academy.

“Learning came naturally for him,” said his mother, who has another son, Jeffrey, and a daughter, Janet. “He really challenged us and kept us on our toes.”

He majored in international studies and global economics at Cedarville University, a tight-knit Christian school in Ohio. There he met his future wife, Laura, a native of Iowa.

Robinson joined the ROTC at Cedarville, which led him into the Army after graduation in 1998, the year before he and Laura married. He was first assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.

Robinson decided to undertake a more rigorous two-year training course and join the Special Forces.

“We knew him as a child, but we learned more about him as an adult after he died,” his mother said. “We found out later that Charlie's church in Fayetteville grew because he and Laura brought in many new couples.”

Laura did not accept an invitation, relayed by family, to speak to The Inquirer.

“He was doing what he loved doing in the military with what time God gave him,” said his father, who refrains from discussing the political aspects of the war: “It makes no difference in the loss.”

“We never talked to him about going into missionary work,” he said. “We told him it was important to do what he thought was the Lord's will for his life.”

“We loved him for who he was,” added Janet Robinson. “Our only complaint is that we didn't have him long enough. . . . I'm pleased that he's not forgotten.”

In an online memorial sponsored by the Washington Post, his friends and family have written tributes, none as touching as his wife's in 2006:

One year ago today . . .

Charlie, we honor you. You continue to be missed, and in our tears we're a little jealous of how it must be to be in the presence of God. Thank you for being the kind of man that we are honored to remember. I miss your daily presence.

cdrobinson-gravesite-photo-092005 cdrobinson-valentines-day-2006

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