Robert J Barrett
Fall River, Massachusetts
April 19, 2010
Killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber attacked his unit.
|Sgt. Robert J. Barrett, 21, of Fall River, Mass.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Massachusetts National Guard, Fall River, Mass.; died April 19 near Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained in the explosion of an improvised explosive device while on dismounted patrol. Rob was part of the honor guard at the Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Survivors include his parents, Paul T. and Carlene A. Galloway Barrett, a daughter Sophie Alexandra Barrett, a sister Rebecca Barrett, maternal grandmother Sue (Oliveira) Galloway, paternal grandmother Laura (Lacerda) Barrett, many aunts, uncle, and cousins. He was the grandson of the late Robert Galloway and John Barrett.|
|From 90.9 WBUR wbur.org 04/24/10:
Suicide Attack Killed Fall River Soldier, US Says
KABAL — The explosion that killed a Fall River soldier on an Afghan military base this week was a suicide attack, the Pentagon has confirmed.
It was not immediately clear how the attacker got into the base or how many people were wounded in Monday’s blast. NATO referred questions to Afghan military officials because it happened on their base.
On Saturday, Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said he had received no information that the attack was a suicide bomb. The Taliban claimed responsibility in calls to news organizations in Kabul soon after the blast.
Sgt. Robert J. Barrett, 20, of Fall River, died Monday when a suicide bomber attacked his unit in the Afghan capital, according to a statement posted Friday on the Pentagon website. Several U.S. soldiers were also wounded.
Earlier this week, Barrett’s father, Paul Barrett, told WBUR that the attacker stole an Afghan uniform and infiltrated a group of Afghans his son and eight other U.S. soldiers were training to be police officers.
The younger Barrett was the father of a 2-year-old daughter named Sophie Alexandra. He also served at the inauguration of President Barack Obama as a member of the Massachusetts National Honor Guard’s volunteer regiment.
|Barrett’s body returning to hometown
The Associated Press
FALL RIVER, Mass. — The body of a soldier killed in Afghanistan is coming home.
The remains of Army Sgt. Robert Barrett of Fall River will be flown to Hanscom Air Force Base on April 29 for the start of three days of services, starting with a motorcade to his hometown.
A public wake is scheduled for April 30 at the city’s high school, B.M.C. Durfee High School. Barrett, 20, was a 2007 Durfee High graduate.
A funeral Mass is scheduled for early May 1 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, followed by burial at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
Barrett, who was helping to train Afghan police, was killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul on April 19. He leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter.
|From South Coast Today southcoastoday.com 05/30/11:
Fall River post office dedicated for fallen soldier who tried to make a difference
Fall River showed its appreciation to the family of Army Sgt. Robert J. Barrett, dedicating the main post office opposite Government Center in his memory.
By CURT BROWN
Posted May. 30, 2011 @ 12:01 am
Updated May 30, 2011 at 7:06 AM
FALL RIVER — Army Sgt. Robert J. Barrett sacrificed his life trying to make a difference by serving his country in Afghanistan in the war against terrorism.
On Sunday over Memorial Day weekend, Fall River showed its appreciation to the family of the 20-year-old National Guardsman for his selflessness, dedicating the main post office opposite Government Center in his memory.
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who authored the federal legislation to name the building for Barrett, said it will stand as a symbol to the young soldier's memory.
But he also acknowledged it is only a small tribute compared to the family's sacrifice.
"Nothing that we can do comes close to making up for what the Barrett family has lost," he said.
"Your country acknowledges the enormous gift you have conveyed on us," Frank told the Barrett family.
The simple plaque, dedicating the post office to Barrett, will hang in the lobby near the front entrance.
Barrett was killed and eight other soldiers were injured April 19, 2010, when a suicide bomber detonated explosives that were concealed in either a vest or a belt under an Afghan uniform.
The U.S. soldiers were on foot patrol south of Kabul International Airport and the insurgent infiltrated a group of Afghan nationals who were training to be police officers.
The hour-long ceremony for Barrett befit a fallen local hero with approximately 250 people in attendance and speeches from family members and local elected leaders, as well as the presence of 46 members of Barrett's own Alpha Battery.
There were several references to Barrett's 3-year-old daughter, Sophie Alexander, who was with her father's parents, Paul and Carlene Barrett.
Frank and Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., said Barrett's spirit will live on in his daughter.
Years from now, McGovern said, Sophie can tell her own children that the post office is named for their grandfather, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
For her part, Sophie seemed unaware of the ceremonies, displaying a child's innocence as she played with the hand rails on the steps to the building.
Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard, presented Barrett's parents with the Massachusetts Medal of Liberty, which is awarded in the name of the governor and is given to any serviceman or woman killed in the line of duty or who dies as a result of their injuries received in action.
Bryan Archambault, Barrett's cousin and best friend, said his friend's influence on him was enormous.
"He was one of the kindest, most generous and courageous people I have ever known," he said.
Paul Barrett, who congratulated the members of his son's batallion on their safe return in a speech during the ceremony, said his son went to war to make a better life for the Afghan people and to protect his country.
"He wanted to make a difference," he said.
He said the children in Afghanistan love flip-flops and his son arranged to have toys and 200 pairs sent to him for a girls' orphanage in Kabul.
Lt. Jeff Hartline, commander of the 1st Batallion 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Massachusetts Army National Guard, called Barrett a model soldier.
"He was a great soldier, one of my best. He went above and beyond everything I asked, even when I didn't ask," he said in an interview before the ceremony.
Hartline said he and the other members of Barrett's Alpha Battery finished what Barrett started, distributing the toys and flip-flops to the children in the orphanage.
"It was really awesome and we all have Rob to thank for it," he said.
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