Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Robert Kassin, a 10th Mountain Division soldier killed in action in Zabul province in Afghanistan.
Army Veteran Robert Kassin was on his second tour of duty in 2006. On July 16, 2006, he died from enemy fire at Larzab base in Zabul province. He was a soldier with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Polk, Louisiana. In that moment he gave his life for his friends, his unit, and his country he left behind to remember him his wife, Judy, one son, Joseph, and two step daughters, Kayla and Cameron, along with numerous friends and family.
At 29, he was the oldest and only son of Robert Joseph and Lucia Kassin.
WTVM9 News reported at the time of his death that Kassin’s father said his son had planned to make the military his career. He had volunteered for duty in Afghanistan and re-enlisted a few weeks after arriving. His father went on to say that his son was helping rebuild communities in Afghanistan.
By the early morning of July 17, 2006 all that remained were the shattered and uncertain future of his family. The Gold Star Registry wrote that family and friends gathered at the Highland Baptist Church in Clovis, New Mexico, to mourn his death.
His mother, Lucia, said “he always brought home strays in the form of new friends or small animals. By joining the military, he wanted to take care of more than that.” His friends remembered his favorite thing was laughter—of any kind.
Highland Baptist minister Dean Turaville reflected, “it’s different when you see war casualties on TV. Until you bury a child you don’t know. It’s different when hurt has a name.”
Carey Kassin, Robert’s first wife said of their 6-year old son. “I see him every day when I look at our son; he tells me, I’m so proud of my dad.”
Kassin was buried in Coushatta, Louisiana.
We honor his service.
During the month of May, VA partners with Carry The Load, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and remembering the fallen. Throughout the month, Carry The Load supporters will march over 15,000 miles along four distinct routes visiting 42 VA national cemeteries making their way to Dallas, Texas for Memorial Day 2021. One of the service members whose legacy they will be carrying along the way is Army Veteran Robert Kassin.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
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Editor: Les’ Melnyk