- 29 years old
- Date of birth: Dec 4, 1977
- Date of passing: Jun 30, 2007
|Let the memory of Robb be with us forever|
Robb Rolfing had wanted to be a soldier since he was a little kid. And when the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, spurred the Vassar graduate to join the Army, he aimed for the top.
“He had wanted to be a soldier and specifically a Green Beret, Special Forces guy, for a long time,” said his father, Rex Rolfing of Sioux Falls.
“That was his dream. That’s what he wanted to become. The elite of the elite. And that’s what he was.”
Staff Sgt. Robb Rolfing died early June 30, Iraq time, after being hit by a round of enemy fire in a southern Baghdad neighborhood. He was 29.
He was in the Special Forces, assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group Airborne, out of Fort Carson, Colo., the Defense Department said July 2.
Five other Fort Carson soldiers died in Iraq this past week when their patrol was ambushed by insurgents, marking the post’s largest death toll in a single incident. Rolfing was the 213th soldier from the post to die in the war, but only the third in the 10th Special Forces Group.
After joining the Army, Rolfing was allowed to try out for Special Forces school. He was accepted but then was sent to Iraq for his first tour of duty.
“And then when he came back, he went through the intense year and a half of school that they [Special Forces] have,” his father said.
Only about 3 percent of those allowed to try out eventually graduate, Rex Rolfing said.
His son had been in Iraq on his second tour of duty since March.
He was training Iraqi police to clear insurgents. “They came under fire in clearing a neighborhood in southern Baghdad,” his father said. “He came under fire and he caught a round that went through his arm and into his chest.”
His body is being brought home and is under 24-hour guard, accompanied by a Special Forces member from his unit. “We do not know where it is and when it will be here,” Rex Rolfing said.
When a service is held in Sioux Falls “it’ll be a celebration of Robb’s life,” his father said.
Asked to describe how he and his wife, Margie, were notified, Rolfing said it was “kind of like the movies. They just show up with a chaplain and a guy from the service. Two guys in uniform show up at your front door and ring your doorbell. So it’s difficult.”
“You can’t imagine” the emotions, Rolfing said. “We didn’t even open the door, Margie and I. We knew right away ... when we saw the two soldiers standing there, we knew right away. We just started bawling and hugging each other. And it was probably a full minute before we could garner enough strength to open the door.”
Robb was the oldest of Rex and Margie’s three children. Brother T.J is 26 and sister Tiffany is 20.
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