Saturday, June 02, 2007

Robert Liggett remembered

A soldier from central Illinois who told his father recently that he would be home soon died Tuesday in Iraq, U.S. Department of Defense announced Thursday.

Army Pfc. Robert A. Liggett, 23, of Urbana died from injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident in Rustamiyah, Iraq, a Defense Department statement said. His death is under investigation.

Liggett was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Ft. Benning, Ga., the statement said. He was a combat engineer who worked with explosives, said his father, Dean Liggett.

Serving in Iraq since March, Liggett last spoke to his father on his own birthday-April 21. He told his dad, "I'll be sure to be home soon, Dad."

Before Robert had enlisted in April 2006, his father said he was becoming increasing restless after being rejected by the Army for being overweight.

At 6-foot-2 and more than 250 pounds, Robert slimmed down while he loaded packages at FedEx in the several months before he enlisted.

Dean Liggett said he noticed a tremendous difference in his son after he came back from basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. Not only had be bulked up in muscle, but his son had become a serious soldier who started to say, "yes, sir."

"They turned him completely around," his father said.

Robert was in the ROTC program in high school, which he attended in Rock Island, Ill., where he lived with a foster family. After graduating in 2003, he moved back to Urbana and developed a close relationship with his father. Robert often e-mailed his sister, Elizabeth Liggett, 24, and their aunt Maggie Liggett, telling them some of the details of his life overseas.

From the Chicago Tribune

Related Link:
Robert A. Liggett dies of 'from injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident'