OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma Air National Guardsman was killed in a rocket attack in Iraq this week, according to the Department of Defense.
Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso, was killed on Wednesday while deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Roberts was a member of the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron, 138th Fighter Wing, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He served as the 219th’s senior personnel noncommissioned officer while deployed.
“Oklahomans all across the state mourn the loss of Staff Sgt. Roberts,” said Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma and commander in chief of the Oklahoma National Guard. “Today serves as a reminder of the many brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to defend our state and country. Our prayers are with Staff Sgt. Roberts’ friends and family during this time, and the state is prepared to offer any support possible.”
“We are devastated by the loss of Staff Sgt. Roberts who served selflessly and with honor,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “I ask that every Oklahoman pray for the family of this fallen patriot and keep them in your thoughts in the days and weeks ahead.
“Our casualty assistance team is working with the family to help them through this terrible time,” Thompson added. “We also have teams available for service members in need of assistance.”
Roberts, who enlisted in May 2014, is the first Oklahoma Air National Guardsman killed in action and the 20th Oklahoma National Guardsman who has died while deployed overseas since Sept. 11, 2001.
“With the passing of Staff Sgt. Roberts, the 138th family has lost a dedicated Airman, mentor and leader,” said Col. Michael Meason, commander of the 138th Fighter Wing. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Roberts’ family and friends as we stand with them through this difficult time. They are and always will be part of the 138th family.”
The 219th Engineering Installation Squadron deploys worldwide to establish communications systems and ensure they remain functional. They deployed in late 2019.
On Friday morning, Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, and Congressman Kevin Hern released statements over the loss of the two American service members.
“Wednesday’s news is a painful reminder that our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors are still fighting every day to protect us across the world,” said Lankford. “To lose a member of our military is never easy; to lose a neighbor is even harder. Cindy and I pray for the family of Oklahoma airman Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts in Iraq. As they walk through this incredibly hard time we will all walk with them. We also pray for the members who were injured in the attack, including another member of the 138th. We pray for their full recovery.”
“On Wednesday night, we lost an American hero: Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts of Owasso, Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. “Kay and I are praying for his wife, Krissy, as well as his family, friends and the entire Oklahoma National Guard. It is a somber reminder that the enemy Sgt. Roberts fought against is real and seeks to harm our nation and people. I am humbled he made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us back here at home. We will not forget it. We are also praying for the swift recovery of the service members injured in yesterday’s attack, including a member of the Oklahoma National Guard.”
“I was heartbroken to hear that we lost an Oklahoman this week during an attack on an American base in Iraq,” said Rep. Hern. “Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts is remembered a hero and patriot, a man who chose to fight for the freedoms that we hold dear, who willingly walked into the path of danger so that Americans at home were safe. We can never repay that debt. His wife, Krissy, child, and loved ones, as well as the Oklahoma National Guard and our Tulsa community, are in my prayers as we mourn the loss of a father, husband, neighbor, and friend. In addition to the loss of Sergeant Marshall, many service members sustained injuries in the attack, including a member of the Oklahoma National Guard. I pray for their swift recoveries and offer my deepest gratitude for their service to our nation.”