Funeral Planned For Fallen Soldier

Staff Sgt. Kevin Roberts
Staff Sgt. Kevin Roberts

Center is saying goodbye to a fallen soldier.   Staff Sgt. Kevin Roberts was killed last Wednesday in Afghanistan. He was a soldier for six and half years with the 101st Airborne Division. At his death he was assigned to Delta Company, Fourth Brigade Combat Team.   The twenty five year old soldier is survived by a wife, a daughter and son. Visitation will be held Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mangum Funeral Home in Center. A full military service will be held at the same place on Friday at 2 p.m. .

Obituary provided by Mangum Funeral Home:

Staff Sergeant Kevin "Casey" Roberts

May 27, 1982 - May 7, 2008

Staff Sergeant Kevin Casey Roberts, age 25 of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky was killed in the Sabari district of Afghanistan on May 7, 2008. His mission was to serve his country which he did proudly for six and a half years as a soldier with the 101st Airborne Division. He was assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Battalion 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. The events of September 11, 2001 influenced SSG Roberts' determination to defend the United States. His love of duty and love of country were undeniable.  Staff Sergeant Roberts was all military, he earned the respect of officers, fellow NCOs and soldiers alike. During his service, Staff Sergeant Roberts was awarded numerous medals and ribbons. Among them are the CIB, EIB and the Army Achievement Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Casey was born on May 27, 1982 in Farmington, New Mexico. He graduated from Farmington High School in 2000. Casey joined the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department and served until enlisting in the United States Army in 2001.   

SSG Roberts strove to complete numerous goals during his military career. Recently he applied for the Warrant Office program. As Casey put it, "Flying has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy. My father took me along in his ultra light aircraft and told me stories about flying and even let me pilot. I grew to love flying and was fascinated by it."

The brightest lights in SSG Roberts life were his wife Donnice, daughter Caehlen and son Keeghan.

He was preceded in death by Grandparents Thurman and Emma Roberts and Jerry and Amanda Sisson. He is survived by his parents Milton C. and Gerri Sue Roberts of Farmington NM, a brother SPC Curby R. Roberts of FT Hood, TX and his children, a brother Jerry E. Roberts of Farmington, NM. Father and mother in-law Pat and Brenda Yates of Lebanon, Ohio. Grandparents Bob and Delsia Powell of Shelbyville, TX and Don and Becca Yates of New Braunfels, TX. Brother in-law Petty Officer 3rd Class Codey P. Yates, his wife and child, and numerous family members, friends and his Brothers in Arms.

Staff Sergeant Roberts will be buried with full military honors. Visitation will be held Thursday, May 15th from 4-8PM at Mangum Funeral Home, 420 San Augustine Street, Center, Texas.  Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 16th at 2PM at Mangum Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow at West Hamilton Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Mangum Funeral Home, 420 San Augustine Street Center, Texas, 1-936-598-3341.       

A memorial for SSG Roberts will be held on Friday, May 23rd at 11 AM. The full military honors memorial will be held at First Baptist Church, 121 North Auburn Street in Farmington, New Mexico.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting and signing the guest book for Staff Sergeant Roberts.

In lieu of floral tributes, a scholarship fund has been established for Caehlen and Keeghan as it was SSG Roberts hope that his children would attend college and continue to grow and contribute to their communities. Donations may be written to The Roberts Children Fund and sent to P.O. Box 420, Ft. Campbell, KY 42223.

The love and prayers of family and friends help to fill the emptiness. The void that we experience is less lonely with the good, happy and bright thoughts we share of Casey. We are the better for having known him. We are certain that Casey is safely home.  We will miss him always. Our faith will sustain us! God bless you Casey. We love you!

Honorary Pallbearers:

MAJ  Billy VanCuren   CPT  Jeremy Fisk      CPT Aaron Bragg     CPT Charles Gordon

CPT Charles Williams    CPT  Robert Jeffcoat   2LT   Kevin Burke    SFC Steve Crafton

SFC Mark Fischer        SPC Cody Baimbridge    SPC Grant Courtney    SPC Shane Nuttle

SPC Wade Johnson       SPC Michael Kuriatnyk

Fellow Brothers in Arms

Rick Bailey     Robert Konkel

Following shared by Shelby County Today:

Patriot Guard Rigers will be present to escort SSgt. Casey Roberts
Submitted by Louis McGinty, Sr. Ride Captain Patriot Guard Riders of East Texas

Patriot Guard Riders are a group of mostly Veterans who ride motorcycles, but we are not a motorcycle group, and we are not a Veterans organization, we have many non veterans in the PGR here and nationwide. We encourage anyone who would like to show pride and respect for their country and the members of our armed forces to join with us in that effort. On Friday the Patriot Guard Riders will establish a flag line at Mangum Funeral Home at approximately 1:00 pm, we will maintain that flag line until after the service for SSgt. Kevin "Casey" Roberts begins at 2:00 pm. We would be proud for any of the citizens of Center and Shelby County to come and stand that flag line with us and hold one of our flags for that hour. After the service, the Patriot Guard Riders will escort the funeral procession and will proceed East on San Augustine Street and turn South on Shelbyville Street in route to West Hamilton Cemetery about 20 miles South on FM 2427.

I would like to ask and encourage anyone to come out and stand on that block of the square that we will pass by or anywhere along that 20 miles to the cemetery and bring Flags if they have them. We the people of Shelby County can in a small way let this family know that we care greatly for the loss they have suffered, and we admire "Casey" and other servicemen and women like him who are willing to defend our country, us and our way of life, and in some cases make the ultimate sacrifice.

Funeral procession will leave out sometimes between 2:30 and 3:00, it will be difficult to determine how long the service will be.


Letter to the Editor: Hero

We were touched to learn that our country lost another great american hero in 25 year old Kevin Casey Roberts , who was recently killed in Afghanistan.... I just thought how helpless we are to show this young man and his family our gratitude for such a sacrifice.... But I just thought it would be a very good thing if as many people as possible would simply line up and down the streets near Mangum Funeral Home standing in salute or waving a flag... Just anything to show our respectful thanks for the effort he made to ward off our enemies... I think it would be a noble effort to show our love for this true American hero.... The funeral is at 2 pm Friday at Mangum Funeral Home ...

Thanks Bruce and Debra Yarbrough