Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the service of Army Specialist Michael C. Roberts who was killed on August 27, 2011 in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom while serving with the 561st Military Police Company, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Specialist Roberts was 23 years old and was from Watauga, Texas. He graduated from Richland High School in Fort Worth, Texas in 2006 where he played tuba in the band and was a varsity wrestler. Specialist Roberts was the youngest of three brothers to join the Army when he enlisted in November 2007. According to his brother Patrick, Specialist Roberts relished the opportunity to ``have a positive influence.'' Specialist Roberts' first tour was to Iraq in 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a communications specialist with the 1st Cavalry Division based at Fort Hood, Texas. He re-enlisted in 2010 and transferred to Fort Campbell, Kentucky in February 2011.
Specialist Roberts was on his second tour when he was killed. He lost his life to a vehicle borne improvised explosive device that detonated near his patrol. Specialist Roberts was protecting a secured area outside a police station when a vehicle attempted to breach the area. Specialist Roberts engaged the enemy, forcing them to detonate the device prematurely, and preventing them from injuring or killing a large number of fellow soldiers. Specialist Roberts was recognized for his actions by being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Action Badge. Our nation can never repay the debt we owe to this brave man and his family, who understand firsthand the meaning of service and sacrifice. Specialist Roberts represents the best values of this nation and of the United States Army.
Specialist Roberts is fondly remembered as someone who lived life to the fullest, laughed every day, was extremely generous, and stood strongly for what he believed.
I wish to extend my condolences to Specialist Roberts' parents, David and Kathy, and his brothers Patrick and Brian, and hope that they continue to find solace in his lasting impact on both this grateful nation and his fellow soldiers.
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