Monday, July 02, 2007

Robb L. Rolfing dies 'of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire'

He was a member of the military's most elite group of warriors. Twenty-nine year old Staff Sergeant Robb Rolfing was killed over the weekend by enemy fire while serving in Iraq.

Rolfing was based in Fort Carson, Colorado with Bravo Company, Second Battalion, of the 10th Special Forces group. He spent 7 months overseas, returning home in February of 2004. But in March of 2007 he was deployed to Iraq again; and now, his family is coping with the fact that he won't be coming home this time.

“Saturday morning. It was Saturday morning. They showed up at the door. We didn't even answer the door,” Rex Rolfing said.

Rex and Margie Rolfing have been emotionally overwhelmed since members of the military personally delivered news of their son's death on Saturday.

“We just stood there and cried. It was our nightmare. It was our nightmare,” Rolfing said.

They say it was a different nightmare that inspired Rolfing to join the military. As Americans watched in disbelief as planes crashed into buildings, killing thousands on September 11th, 2001, their son felt a call to duty.

“When that happened, that triggered it. There was no doubt about it, he was going. He was going with the ultimate goal of becoming a Green Beret,” Rolfing said.

And the day Robb graduated from the Special Forces qualification course at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, he became part of that elite group of fighters.

“We said, Robb, if that's what you want to do we will support you. I just told him to keep his head down and watch his back. And we prayed for his safety every day. Every day,” he said.

Now, the fight for freedom that inspired Rolfing to join the military has also taken his life. The Rolfings say they're finding strength in their faith.

“We've got to have a lot of faith in God that one way or another it’s got to be okay,” Rolfing said.

But one picture is also helping the Rolfings cope with their grief. Robb emailed it home just a few weeks ago. In it, their son's image is forever captured along with two of his fellow soldiers, proudly displaying the stars and stripes over Iraq.

And from now on, every time this family sees the symbol of our freedom, they'll also remember one man who fought to preserve that privilege.

“I'll think of Rob and the job he did and the freedoms we have that he paid the ultimate price for,” Robb said.

Something else that's very difficult right now is the fact that the Rolfings don't know when Robb's body will be returned to the U.S. For that reason, funeral services are still pending.