Sgt. 1st Class Elliott Robbins, 31, died Sunday [June 30, 2019] in a noncombat incident in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while serving in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, according to a Pentagon report. The incident is under investigation.
A Green Beret, Robbins was assigned to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Airborne Group in Fort Carson, Colorado.
His parents said he was deployed in January — his third tour of duty — and was set to return to Utah any day. Robbins leaves behind a wife and an infant son.
Born in San Diego, Robbins spent most of his childhood in North Ogden with six siblings, and was raised Catholic. The family said many people in the community have been reaching out to support them.
His mother, Adrienne Robbins, said they fully expected him to come home safe since he always had previously.
“Everybody’s just as shocked as we are because this wasn’t how the chapter was going to close,” she said. “This wasn’t the end.”
His father, Freeman Robbins, was a career Army man himself and said some of that military dedication may have rubbed off on his son. He said his son was proud of his country and proud to serve it.
“What can a parent say? I mean, they’re proud that their child does well in what he does,” Freeman Robbins said. “He was an Army medic and saved a lot of lives. How can you not be proud of something like that?”
We honor you, Elliott Robbins.
Freeman Robbins says his son served with valor, earning multiple awards. He admitted that at times it was difficult to read about why he Sgt. Robbins received the awards — knowing he was put into some very dangerous situations.
The Robbins family is preparing to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where their son’s body will return to the United States.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered the U.S. flag and the state flag to be lowered to half-staff on the day of Robbins’ funeral.
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins this morning,” Herbert said in a statement. “I am grateful to him for the service he gave his country. Jeanette and I extend our sincere condolences to his parents, his wife and son at this difficult time. Our hearts and prayers are with them.”
Other Utah civic leaders also offered their words of praise, condolences and family support.
“Heartbroken over the tragic news about Ogden native, Army Sgt. 1st Class Elliot Robbins,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, via Twitter. “Our prayers are with his family and loved ones. May we never forget his service and sacrifice for our country.”
“My heart goes out to the family of Sgt. Robbins who died while deployed in Afghanistan,” tweeted Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah. “Sgt. 1st Class Elliott Robbins is from Ogden and served three deployments. I’m grateful for his service and sacrifice to our country.”
“My heart is broken to hear that one of Utah’s finest, Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins, passed away over the weekend,” said Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville in a statement. “My thoughts go out to his wife and son and all those who call him family, friend, or brother-in-arms.”
Robbins’ sacrifice and service will not be forgotten and will be felt continually by Utahns as who remember the freedoms they enjoy, Wilson added.
“On behalf of the Utah House, I share my condolences with SFC Robbins and his family for their service,” Wilson said.