Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Army Sgt. 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts, 39, of Hinesville, Ga.

SFC Roberts was assigned to 810th Engineer Company (SAPPER), Georgia National Guard, Swainsboro, Ga.; died Aug. 17, 2010 at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., of wounds sustained June 26 at Sayed Abad, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

The Department of the Army today released information on the death of Sergeant 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts of Hinesville, a Georgia Army National Guardsman assigned to the 810th Engineer Company (SAPPER) in Swainsboro.

Sgt. 1st Class Roberts, 39, died as a result of wounds received during an IED incident that occurred at Sayed Abad, Wardak province, Afghanistan on June 26, 2010. Roberts was transferred to National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. for treatment where he died on August 17.

Upon word of Roberts’ death, Governor Sonny Perdue said, "The news of Sergeant Roberts' passing is heart wrenching. We prayed fervently for his recovery; now our thoughts and prayers turn to his family and friends. We offer what comfort we can give knowing that Sergeant Roberts died a hero, laying down his life so others may know freedom."

“Each notice received about the death of one of our brave Georgia Soldiers brings with it renewed sadness throughout the Georgia National Guard family,” said Maj. Gen. Terry Nesbitt, the Adjutant General of Georgia.

“Despite successes in the region, we are reminded with every loss that significant dangers still exist for our men and women serving around the world. Sergeant 1st Class Roberts was a combat veteran, having faced the enemy before in Iraq. Regardless, he showed no hesitancy when called again to serve his state and nation in Afghanistan. We extend to his family our deepest sympathy on their loss, as well as praise for the patriotism and valor of Sgt. 1st Class Roberts.”

Chicago - Sgt. 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts’ sisters have in the last three days torn through the stages of mourning his death -- sorrow, anguish, doubt, anger-- from the youngest’s Park Forest home only to learn that he’s still alive.

They said the story unfolded this way: On Tuesday, their father called from his home in Belize with sad news -- he said he’d just heard from Roberts’ wife, Jannett Roberts, that the Thornton High School graduate died from his many injuries a roadside bomb inflicted on him in Afghanistan.

The family here spent Wednesday consoling each other with stories and photos of Edgar. How he joined the family as a young teenager from Belize. How he protected the sisters.

Thursday morning, Roberts’ youngest sister, Robyn Anderson, took a phone call from a friend who works at the hospital who saw her Facebook post about her brother. The friend urged Anderson to call the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and confirm her brother’s death.

She was in for a shock.

An officer told her that Edgar remained in an intensive care unit. He hadn’t died.

“I was so livid. I barged next door,” Anderson said. “I said, ‘Mom, mom, Edgar is not dead. She jumped up, what?’

“Everybody had this reaction like, you are joking.”

Thursday night, the family gathered in her living room again, this time to pray for Roberts’ recovery.

Army officials have confirmed that a Georgia Army National Guardsman injured during an explosion in Afghanistan has died.

The man is identified as 39-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts. Authorities say he died as a result of wounds received during an incident involving a roadside bomb, which occurred at Sayed Abad, Wardak province on June 26. Officials say he died at the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., on Aug. 17.

A mix up earlier this month led suburban Chicago family members of Roberts to believe he had died when he was in fact, alive in Bethesda. At the time, a Pentagon spokesman could find no record of Roberts' death.

An Army spokesman at the Pentagon said Thursday evening he had no record of Roberts’ death. A patient administrator at the National Naval Medical Center confirmed Roberts was still alive, though she would not provide further details about his condition. She also said she spoke with Roberts’ Illinois relatives earlier in the day.

An Army veteran of the first Gulf War, Edgar Roberts had been serving in Afghanistan with the 810th Engineer Company, Georgia National Guard. He cleared roadside bombs. In December, his vehicle flipped over, injuring him.

He later was awarded a Purple Heart.

In June, he was out on a routine clearance patrol in Sayed Abad, Wardak province, Afghanistan. His vehicle hit another roadside bomb. He was thrown from it, and despite his many broken bones and head injury, the 39-year-old made it to Bethesda.

Edgar Roberts’ south suburban family blames Jannett Roberts, his wife with whom he settled in Hinesville, Ga. for his death. They have not called her. They do not want to.

Today, they’re hurt. They’re angry.

A woman who answered Jannett Roberts’ cell phone Thursday afternoon hung up after a reporter identified herself. No one responded to subsequent messages left on it for her.

Sister Stephanie Bryant suffered with her mother and sisters. “How can you go ahead and tell his father he was dead? You're going to deny him a family at a time like this?

“We’re all grieving and then to find it out [he’s not gone] makes it worse.”

Today, three of Roberts’ sisters and their mother plan to leave on a 13-hour car ride to Bethesda so they can lay their own eyes on the son and brother they feared they had lost. However, they have since learned that Sgt. 1st Class Roberts had died at the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md.

Sgt. 1st Class Roberts is survived by his wife, Jannett, and by their five children, all of Hainesville, Georgia; by his mother, of Park Forest, Illinois, by his father, of Belize, and by several sisters.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts died 8/17/10 from wounds received in action on 6/26/10.


Anonymous said...

Sgt 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts mother, daughter brothers and sisters are still being denied closure of the death of their son, father and brother. A memorial service was held for him on Fort Stewart in Hinesville, GA which they did not receive invitations to attend. In recent events unfolded by the PADD. The family found out that he will not have a burial that was supposed to be schedule at the fallen soldiers cemetry in VA. Instead a new dd form 7302 was filled out so that he will be cremated and no memorial service will be held for him so the rest of his family could attend. Edgar N. Roberts Jr. has six children of his own 5 of Hinesville, Ga, 1 of Columbus GA all of which were born in the Savannah Ga area and two step-sons. All of Sgt 1st Class Edgar N. Roberts children were provided for by him, he claimed, took responsibility for all of his natural children and they all have his lastname as well as those which he inherited by his second marriage.

Its a shame that a hero who has served this country many times over is not being paid the honorable respect that is due him in death.

My his soul rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

This is just pathetic from all aspects. My friend was indeed due a formal military service, so that his REAL family & friends could pay there respects. May Jannette Roberts suffer til the day she leaves this earth......Sincerly
Kendrick "TOO SWEET" Simmons