Fairfax County to Fly Flags at Half-Staff for Soldier, Robinson Grad, Killed in Afghanistan

First Lt. Robert J. Hess, a Robinson High graduate, died April 23.


WTOP reports Sunday that Fairfax County will fly its flags at half-staff Monday in honor of a Robinson High School graduate who died in Afghanistan.

First Lt. Robert J. Hess of Fairfax was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan and will be buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery, according to the radio station report.

In an email update to residents, Braddock District Supervisor John Cook asks residents to honor Hess by flying their personal flags on Monday as well.

First Lt. Robert J. Hess, 26, had only just this month been deployed to Pul-E-Elam in Afghanistan to support efforts of Operation Enduring Freedom when he was killed by indirect enemy fire, WUSA 9 reported.

According to NBC Washington, Hess was an Army Blackhawk pilot. He was highly decorated, and was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

The Robinson High School graduate was reportedly a linebacker on the school's state championship-winning football team. He also swam for three years at Robinson, garnering three state championships.

Hess joined the Army in 2010.

News4 quoted Hess' parents as saying, "Our son was an amazing person. He was a wonderful, loving man. He had a wonderful sense of humor that could make anyone laugh. He was a natural leader and a great officer. He loved the Army, and he died living his dream."

In the incident that killed Hess, Captain Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, of Selah, Wash., also was killed. The soldiers were members of the 2nd Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, which deployed from Fort Drum, N.Y.

Jett jagga May 13, 2013 at 01:01 PM
My prayers go out to Mr.Hess .........Good Bless family and friends.
mary wood May 13, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Your family is in our prayers. May your memories of your beloved son keep you going. We are grateful for his service to our country. Mary Wood and family
Patricia Freeman May 13, 2013 at 04:33 PM
My prayers and thoughts go out to the Hess family today. I thank your wonderful son for giving his life for his country, and hope your memories of him will help sustain you in the days ahead. Trish Freeman and family
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