Robert L. Frantz

SAN ANTONIO, TX, U.S.A.

U.S. ARMY

PV2, CO B, 1ST BN, 36TH IN REG, APO AE 09074

06/18/2003, DOGWOOD, IRAQ


PV2 Frantz, a Central Texas soldier, told of his nights spent in the charred remains of one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces and days spent guarding the Central Bank of Baghdad.

To Robert L. Frantz’s family, it appeared the 19-year-old high school dropout with a 2-year-old daughter and plans to marry had matured quickly since joining the Army and deploying to fight in Iraq.

PV2 Frantz was about 4 when his father died. His family moved a short time later from Michigan to San Antonio where he attended elementary and middle school. He went to Marshall High School, then withdrew and earned a General Educational Development diploma.

Later while waiting tables at an International House of Pancakes, Frantz met the woman he would eventually makes plans with to marry, Ana Perez.

“He wanted his daughter to be proud of him,’’ said his stepfather, Vincent Smith, a Lackland Air Force Base firefighter. “He grew into a man strictly overnight, by joining the Army. He was a little scared, but excited. He knew he was going to do good things.’’

PV2 Frantz was killed June 17th as a result of a grenade attack the previous night, according to Phil Reidinger, a spokesman for Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

Robert was hit with shrapnel while he was standing guard duty. An enemy assailant threw a grenade over a wall in the Iraqi capital.

For the San Antonio native who joined the Army 10 months ago and his family, “this was supposed to be a happy week’’ on the heels of the Spurs’ NBA championship,” said Frantz’s mother, Kim Smith.

Instead, the family spent the day coping with the death of their loved one, an Army private first class.

“We thought the war was over,’’ his mother said. “I told him, ‘Be careful. Watch your back.’ But I had no thoughts that there would be this.’’