ANDERSON, IN, USA U.S. Army SGT, HHC, 1ST BATTALION, 26TH INF REGT, 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION, APO AE 09033 SAMARRA, IRAQ 07/08/2004
A soldier from Anderson was killed in fighting in Iraq, family members told The Herald Bulletin. Army officials notified Lieutenant Robert Colvill’s family of his death on Thursday, said his sister Angela Seward.
Colvill, 31, had served in Iraq for four months and had been in the Army for two years, family members said. He previously had served eight years in the Marine Corps.
“My father said he was killed when he was fighting with the troops on the border – in hand-to-hand combat basically,” said Seward. “They were attacked. There were four people that were killed and he was one of them.”
Colvill graduated in 1991 from Madison Heights High School in the city about 35 miles northeast of Indianapolis. His sister said he had wanted to serve in the military since ninth grade.
He joined the Marine Corps after graduation and left as a sergeant in 1999, family members said. After a couple years as a civilian, he enlisted in the Army.
“He came home and he didn’t like civilian life,” said Colvill’s stepfather, Daniel Walker.
Colvill’s wife, Chris, and two of his children live in Germany, where he served before he was deployed to Iraq in March. His other son lives in California.
“He was a leader. He was always eager to try new challenges,” said another sister, Melanie L. Smith, 34. “Mom says he was a good kid. He always tried to please everybody.”
As a video tribute played during the memorial service at the North Anderson Church of God, Colvill’s two year old son, Zachary played with a pencil and a pad of paper near the flag-draped coffin.
“I’m going to do something a little unorthodox here,” Colvill’s uncle, Marine Corps Master Sergeant Moses Beaman, said in his eulogy. “Robbie is a hero and he deserves an Indiana hero’s welcome. So I’m going to ask that you would all stand up and applaud our hero.”
Mourners joined Beaman in a standing ovation.