Saturday, May 14, 2011

Army Sgt. Robert C. Schlote

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Robert C. Schlote,26, of Norfolk, Neb.

Sgt Schlote was assigned to 195th Forward Support Company, Nebraska Army National Guard, Omaha, Neb., died May 14, 2011 in Omaha, Neb., from a non-combat medical illness.

The Nebraska National Guard member fell ill after he arrived in Afghanistan in February, said his older brother, Sgt. Bill Schlote. He had been a big, fit man -- he weighed about 240 and ran marathons -- before he got sick and dropped 30 pounds.

Doctors didn't know what he suffered from, and his older brother didn't know he was suffering. Bill Schlote was serving in Afghanistan, too, but they didn't see each other. "He wasn't a complainer. He did not show any outward signs of weaknesses."

Sgt. Schlote graduated Norfolk High School in 2003 where he was an avid cross-country runner. During high school he worked for WJAG/KEXL Radio where he was a part-time DJ.

Between his junior and senior year he enlisted in the Nebraska National Guard and completed his basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. After graduation he completed his advanced individual training as a communication specialist at Fort Gordon, Ga.

Sgt Schlote volunteered for four tours of duty with the Nebraska National Guard. First in Kuwait, second and third in Iraq and the fourth when he deployed to Afghanistan in January.

He returned on leave April 14. His mother didn't recognize him at the Omaha airport.

He was so weak he was in a wheelchair when daughter, Blair, was born the next day. At home, he couldn't climb into his bed, so he slept on the couch. He was in no condition to return to Afghanistan after his two-week leave was up.

Sgt Schlote was undergoing medical tests at Offutt Air Force Base and was scheduled to go Fort Bragg, N.C., this week for more examination, his brother said.

Early Saturday, Tiffany Schlote found him on the floor near Blair's bassinet, and tried to revive him. He was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital. The family is waiting for autopsy results to determine why.

Sgt Schlote is survived by his wife Tiffany Schlote and their daughter Blair; parents Roger and DeAnne; brothers, Brad, Bill, Justin, Josh; and one sister Jennifer; grandparents Les and Sharon Clausen, Merlyn Olson, Loretta Scholte, and his great grandmother Miranda Olson Pitttenger. He was preceded in death by his grandfather Harvey Schlote.

Army Sgt. Robert C. Schlote died from a medical illness on 5/14/11.

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