SGT. ROBERT J. BILLINGS - U.S. Army
Hometown / City: Clarksville, VA
Date of Death: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
Branch: U.S. Army
Unit: 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
Post / Base: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Birth: Apr. 22, 1982, USA
Death: Oct. 13, 2012
Sgt. Robert J. Billings, 30, of Clarksville, Va., died Oct. 13, in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Sgt Billings graduated in 2001 from Morley Stanwood High School in Deerfield Township, about 40 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. He later moved to Virginia, where he met his wife, Christy, said his grandmother, Elaine Billings. He later enlisted in the Army and had one previous combat posting in Iraq in 2009 and 2010. His grandmother said he and his wife have four children, ages 3 to 10. "He was going to make this his last tour so he could be with his children and watch them grow up," she told Mlive.com. "They were just all over him when he'd come home." Billings came from a military family. His father spent 20 years in the Navy, and his grandfather served in the Army. "It was just kind of in his blood," Elaine Billings said. Former teacher Tim Paczewski said Billings made a strong impression during his time at Morley Stanwood. Billings showed "a lot of determination. He was very goal oriented when he was a student here; very likable always had a smile on his face, got a long very well with his classmates as well as staff," Paczewski said. Sgt. Billings reported to Fort Benning, for Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training MOS 11B (Infantryman). He arrived at JBLM in 2009 and was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. He deployed with 4th Stryker Brigade to Iraq. Sgt. Billings was assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in January 2011. Sgt. Billings' military education includes High School Diploma, Associates in Arts, Field Sanitation Team Certification, Unit Prevention Leader, Combat Life Savers Course, Force XXI Battle Command Brigade, Military Occupational Specialty: 11B- Infantryman. His awards include Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Certificate of Achievement, Combat Infantry Badge.