Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Robert M Friese

Harrison, Michigan

April 29, 2011

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
21 Army Spc

1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment

Fort Hood, Texas

 Killed in Al Qadisiyah province, Iraq, when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.

Army Pfc. Robert M. Friese honored in dignified transfer May 4

5/5/2011 - A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Pfc. Robert M. Friese, of Chesterfield, Mich., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., May 4, 2011. Friese was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

From the Midland Daily News ourmidland.com 05/12/11:

Hundreds line streets of Harrison for return of fallen soldier
Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 1:41 PM Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 3:58 PM
By LaNia Coleman | The Bay City Times 

HARRISON -- The distant bells at St. Athanasius Catholic Church pealed before noon today, signaling the return of fallen soldier Pfc. Robert M. Friese to his home town.
Friese, 21, died April 29 in Al Qadisiyah province after enemy forces attacked his unit with rocket-propelled grenades, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Clare and Harrison today as the Patriot Guard Riders and Forgotten Eagles escorted Friese's remains to Stocking Funeral Home.
Many waved American flags, placed their hands over their hearts and wiped away tears. Veterans, in caps emblazoned with the insignias of their respective branches of the military, saluted the procession.
Workers left their businesses to show their support. Motorists stopped on the roadway and exited their vehicles.
Flags flew at half-staff, yellow ribbons surrounded trees and star-shaped balloons of red, white and blue bounced on the breeze.
"I'm heart-broken," said Harrison resident Amy J. Ellis. "But I'm very honored to be able to help show him his way home."
Ellis choked back tears as she stood outside the funeral home, behind a wall of current and former military personnel dressed in camouflage clothing, dress uniforms or denims and leather chaps and vests.

Her 8-year-old son, Austin, accompanied her.
Austin said he is very proud to be an American.
"I want to be in the Army some day," he said.
Harrison High School social studies teacher Joe Ashcroft watched the procession with his 7-year-old son.
He said he was truthful in explaining the significance of the day.
"He needs to understand that soldiers are out there protecting what we believe in, our freedom," said Ashcroft. "And he needs to understand that, in doing that, they sometimes lose their lives."
Harrison resident Bridgett Weldon waited near the Courthouse to watch her former classmate return. Friese was a 2007 Harrison graduate.
"He was a very nice, well-mannered kid who came from a good family," said Weldon. "He represented our state and our community very well."
Jessica R. Engel also remembered Friese from school.
"I am thankful to him, for what he did for us," said Engel.
Among the veterans group that turned out today were the local chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans of America.
"Steely" Dan Charnock, a VVA member who served in the U.S. Army Airborne division from 1968 to 1971, said the community is "devastated" at the loss of Friese.
"It's heart-wrenching," said Charnock. "But to see this kind of turn-out, it shows how a small community pulls together."
Friese's funeral is to take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Athanasius church. Visitation is 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Stocking Funeral Home.
According to Fort Hood Public Affairs, Friese joined the military in May 2009 as an M1 armor crewman. He deployed in support of Operation New Dawn in September.
Friese was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Hood, Texas.
He had earned the Army Achievement, National Defense Service, Iraq Campaign (with campaign star) and Global War on Terrorism Service medals, plus the Army Service and Overseas Service ribbons.

From the Midland Daily News ourmidland.com 05/04/11:

Harrison soldier dies in Iraq
By Kelly Dame
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 10:19 am | Updated: 12:31 pm, Wed May 4, 2011.
A Harrison family is mourning the loss of son, brother and fiancé -- Private First Class Robert M. Friese -- who was killed Thursday in Iraq.
The Department of Defense announced Sunday that Friese, 21, died in Al Qadisiyah province, Iraq, after his unit was attacked by enemies using a rocket propelled grenade. Friese was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas, and was serving as part of Operation New Dawn.
News of his loss has spread throughout the area, and plans are under way to honor him, his sacrifice and his family.
Renee Haley, Clare County Director of Veterans Services, said she has asked area businesses and residents to lower their flags until after the funeral. That's not all she's doing.
"We are working on a yellow ribbon campaign to pepper the area," she said. Those helping with the campaign are meeting at 6 p.m. tonight in the Kevin Sherwood Conference Room at the Clare County Sheriff's Office, and extra helpers are welcome to make ribbons and put them out.
Members of the public also are invited to line the streets the day Friese's body is brought back to Harrison and for his funeral.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and are in the care of the Stocking Funeral Home of Harrison. To keep residents up to date, Haley said she is posting announcements at the veterans' office tab at www.clareco.net
"I'm trying to do everything for the family that I can," she said, adding the community also is supporting Friese's family. "It's obviously very, very emotional. He's one of our own. It's a great loss."
His mother, Cindy Friese, told 9&10 News that her son wanted to join the army since he was eight years old.
"He really wanted to go over there and fight for us. That was his goal. He wanted to make sure we were all free," she said.
Friese graduated from the Harrison High School in 2007, where he participated in the Army ROTC program.
According to the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, Friese joined the military in May 2009 as an M1 armor crewman, and had been assigned to his unit since that September. He deployed in support of the operation in September 2010.
Friese's awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

From bay City News mlive.com 05/03/11:

Harrison soldier, Robert Friese, 21, killed in Iraq
Published: Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 6:27 PM Updated: Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 6:44 PM
By LaNia Coleman | The Bay City Times 
HARRISON — Funeral arrangements remain incomplete for a 21-year-old Clare County soldier killed in Iraq.
Pfc. Robert M. Friese, 21, of Harrison, died April 29 in Al Qadisiyah province after enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket-propelled grenade, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Friese was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Hood, Texas.
According to the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, Friese joined the military in May 2009 as an M1 armor crewman. He deployed in support of Operation New Dawn in September 2010.
He had earned the Army Achievement, National Defense Service, Iraq Campaign (with campaign star) and Global War on Terrorism Service medals, plus the Army Service and Overseas Service ribbons.
Friese was a 2007 graduate of Harrison High School.
Stocking Funeral Home in Harrison is handling arrangements.

Robert M. Friese
Pfc. Robert M. Friese, age 21, of Chesterfield, Michigan., died on April 29, 2011, in Al Qadisiyah province, Iraq, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade. 

He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.

He joined the military in May 2009 as a M1 armor crewman and was assigned that September to Troop I, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood. 

Robert's awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Robert M. Friese is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.
Community turns out for funeral of slain soldier

The Associated Press

HARRISON, Mich. — To residents in the small mid-Michigan community of Harrison, Army Pfc. Robert Friese was a hero twice over.

Friese and a friend pulled a neighbor from a burning house as a teen in 2008, a year before he enlisted in the military.

"They weren't able to carry me so they dragged me out then carried me down a snowy icy hill and gave me their jackets as the ambulance and fire department came," Ethel Hunt told the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant Saturday. "(Friese) was a very nice young man. There aren't many people like him anymore. A lot of people would have seen a fire and kept going. I felt very bad when he died."

Hundreds of people in the town, about 60 miles northwest of Saginaw, gathered Saturday along the funeral procession route for the 21-year-old Friese. He died April 29 after his unit was attacked by insurgents with a rocket-propelled grenade in Al Qadisiyah province in Iraq.

Trees along the route were adorned in yellow ribbons. Yellow balloons were released into the sky as the procession passed.

"There is nothing bad you can say about Robert. He was a brother, a father, an uncle and a best buddy," longtime friend Ron Frazier told the newspaper. "He was put here to care, protect and keep us together. That's what he really did. He helped us get through hard times."

Friese, a 2007 graduate of Harrison High School, was named Hero of The Year for 2008 for rescuing Hunt and joined the military the following year as an M1 armor crewman.

He was assigned to Troop I, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas, and deployed in 2010 to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn.

"He was a hometown kid and everybody was proud of him," Harrison resident Dan Wilhelm said. "He meant a lot fighting for freedom and things that make America what it is. He paid the ultimate price."

The Pentagon said Friese was a recipient of the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

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