U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 552-10
June 28, 2010
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Private First Class Robert K. L. Repkie, 20, of Knoxville, Tennessee, died June 24, 2010, at Forward Operating Base Farah, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.
For more information, the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910-432-0661 or 910-432-0662.
11 July 2010:
Community members, friends, family and strangers paid their final respects Sunday night to a Sweetwater soldier killed in Afghanistan.
A crowd of people flowed into Mynatt Funeral Home in Fountain City to remember and honor Private Robert Repkie. The 20-year-old died last month in what military officials call a ‘non-combat' related incident.
“This is a hard day for us — we know the family inside and out,” said East Tennessee Patriot Heart Rider Duane Romine. “We've got a little over 50 people [here] that feel the same way.”
Repkie was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He'll be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Lance Corporal John J. Kelly did not know Repkie, but wanted to pay his respects to his family. He also gave them a poem title, “My Ultimate Gift.” It's written from the perspective of a soldier who proudly sacrificed his life for his country. You can read the poem in its entirity below.
America for what I do, it's all for you
I keep you safe and defend you
This is my pledge to America
When you think of me, just remember
All the freedom you have, is yours
When called, I put my life on hold
Only thoughts of home, can go with me
America, for what I do, It's my love for you
America, the battle is over, for me
I have paid the debt of freedom for you
America, I have given my ultimate gift
America, I have given my life for you
Now, it's all said and now, it's all done
America, forget me not
30 July 2010:
An Army soldier with ties to Sweetwater was buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C. Pfc. Robert “Kelsey” Repkie, 20, died in Afghanistan of non-combat related injuries on June 24, 2010.
Repkie qualified for burial at Arlington because he died while on active duty, even though the circumstances surrounding his death have not been publicly released.
“I love him. I miss him. I'm so proud of him,” said Pfc. Repkie's father, Russell Repkie, after the ceremony.
Members of the Army's 3rd Infantry Unit, who are known as the “Old Guard” presided over the burial ceremony. Repkie was honored with a three volley salute, a eulogy given by Chaplain Lt. Col. Ken Godfrey, and the traditional bugle rendition of “Taps.” The ceremony lasted about 25 minutes. Repkie's father received the flag, from Maj. Gen. Todd Semonite, that covered Pfc. Repkie's casket at the end of the ceremony.
“It's an honor that every man and woman that serves in the military should have. It's a shame that we had to do it like this,” said Russell Repkie.
REPKIE, ROBERT K
- PFC US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 03/13/1990
- DATE OF DEATH: 06/24/2010
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 9567
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard