Let the memory of Sgt. Bobby be with us forever
  • 38 years old
  • Born on July 31, 1965 .
  • Passed away on August 20, 2003 .

38, of Mineral Bluff, Ga.; assigned to the 210th Military Police Company, Army National Guard, Murphy N.C.; killed by an improvised explosive device Aug. 20 in Baghdad, Iraq.

N.C. Guard soldier killed was prison worker at home

Associated Press

Family members of a North Carolina National Guard soldier who died in Iraq said they knew something was wrong even before the military came to their door to give them the bad news.

Staff Sgt. Bobby Franklin, 38, a member of the 210th Military Police Company based in Murphy, was killed Aug. 20 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle, according to the military.

Franklin’s death marks the first time in more than three decades that the North Carolina National Guard has lost a soldier to hostile fire, guard officials said.

Two other soldiers with Franklin were injured. By the night of Aug. 20, Franklin’s family knew something was wrong.

“The other two guys that were always with him had already called in and checked with their wives,” said Tim Nicholson, Franklin’s brother-in-law. Franklin’s wife, Brenda, didn’t receive a call.

By the morning of the 21st, soldiers had arrived in Mineral Bluff, Ga., the town just across the border where the Franklins lived to tell Brenda what happened.

When not in the guard, Franklin worked at the Carlton Colwell Probation and Detention Center in Blairsville, Ga. He supervised inmates working on construction projects in the community.

When the reservist was called up, his co-workers made sure he periodically received carepackages filled with comforts from home.

Family members tried to talk the longtime reservist into calling it quits last year as the nation’s war of words with Iraq increased.

“He was within a year of retirement,” Nicholson said. “That’s why he went back this time.”

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