By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers
The Clovis soldier killed Sunday in Afghanistan was helping to rebuild communities in the war-torn country, his father said.
Sgt. Robert Paul Kassin, 29, died near Larzab in Afghanistan’s Zabul province, Army officials said. He was killed when his platoon was attacked by small-arms fire while on patrol, according to an Army news release.
The soldier’s father, Robert Joseph Kassin, of Clovis, said his son’s unit had recently reconnected water and power in an area devastated by bombs.
The unit had built three schools for Afghanistan children, one in a community that had never had a school before, Kassin told his parents a couple of months into his tour in Afghanistan.
“He was proud to be a part of that,” Robert Joseph Kassin said.
Robert and Lucia Kassin received news of their son’s death Monday morning.
The younger Kassin was scoping the perimeter of an area where his unit was located when it came under fire, family members were told. He was shot two times and died of his wounds.
Kassin was assigned as an infantryman to the C Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, serving as a part of Task Force Warrior in the southern Afghanistan region, according to the Army’s news release.
Kassin’s father said he had volunteered for the deployment and re-enlisted a few weeks after he arrived in Afghanistan.
He had planned to make the military his career, his father said.
“He was very proud to serve. He wanted to be there — he was proud to support his country,” the senior Kassin said.
The oldest of three children, Robert Paul Kassin married in February. He leaves behind a 7-year-old son in Mississippi and two stepdaughters, 6 and 12, living with his wife in Alabama.
A memorial service in Clovis is being planned after they return, family members said.
Born Jan. 22, 1977, in Flint, Mich., the younger Kassin was born into a military family. His father was stationed in several locations, leaving England in 1990 when he was assigned to Cannon Air Force Base. After the senior Kassin retired, they made Clovis their home.
Attending Clovis schools from junior high through high school, the younger Kassin left the area just before his senior year to live with family in Las Vegas, Nev., his mother said. It was there he enlisted in the Army.