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.