HARRISON, MI, US
U. S. Army
SPC, TROOP I, 3RD SQD, 3RD ARMORED CAV REGT, FORT HOOD, TX
04/29/2011, AL KUT, IRAQ
Army Specialist Robert M. Friese died April 29, 2011 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The twenty-one year old was from Harrison, Michigan. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas. His unit was supporting Operation New Dawn. He died in Kut, Al Qadisiyah province Iraq, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket-propelled grenade.
To residents in the small mid-Michigan community of Harrison, Army Pfc. Robert Friese was a hero twice over. He and a friend pulled a neighbor from a burning house as a teen in 2008, a year before he enlisted in the military. Though they were not able to carry their neighbor, they dragged her out then carried her down a snowy icy hill and gave her their jackets as they waited for the ambulance and fire department to arrive.
Robert Friese was a brother, a father, an uncle and a best buddy. He cared, protected and bound people together and encouraged many through hard times. He was a 2007 graduate of Harrison High School, and was named Hero of The Year for 2008 for his rescue efforts. He joined the military the following year, in 2009, as an M1 armor crewman. He was a hometown kid and everybody was proud of him. He was a very nice, well-mannered kid who represented his state and community well. His friends and family appreciated his participation in the fight for freedom and retaining those things that make America what America represents best. He enjoyed playing video games and spending time with family and friends. His personal support team included his parents, a brother, a sister and a fiancée.
Specialist Friese’s final farewell was honored by half-staff flags, the Patriot Guard Riders and Forgotten Eagles, and many others who came from near and far to join the yellow balloons and ribbons salute. He was a recipient of the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.