By Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div. March 1, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas -- As family and friends filled the chapel, a silence fell among the Soldiers, as they waited for the memorial service for Pvt. 1st Class Joe Robinson to begin.
The service, held on Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 29, was conducted by the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, "Mustangs," 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, to pay their last respects to Robinson.
Robinson died Feb. 9, 2011.
Robinson, 21, was an infantryman assigned to the Mustangs. He spent his entire enlisted career at Fort Hood and deployed once with the Mustangs from January -- December 2009.
While many may consider Robinson's life short lived, he spent it as if it was full, enjoying his off time and working hard to receive it.
"I will remember Pfc. Robinson as a hardworking and compassionate Soldier," said Lt. Col. Peter Sicoli, commander of the Mustangs.
Hard work was something he wasn't afraid of, explained Capt. Jesse Harden, commander of Company A., 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt. When first meeting Robinson he was diligently at work while others were at lunch.
Harden said he asked Robinson why he was working through lunch and with a smile Robinson replied, "First sergeant said the training room needed to be cleaned before the Soldiers could leave for the day."
"He was a caring, reserved Soldier who was devoted to helping his brothers-in-arm and always warming the situation with a flash of that same smile," explained Harden.
It was with that smile that he would bring a sense of morale with him to work, he said. Even while attached to the rear detachment during the battalion's latest deployment, Robinson would continue to work to maintain morale and the company standards.
Although work came first, Robinson knew how to relax and have fun, said Staff Sgt. Maxwell Davis, an infantryman with Company A. He was either working on his car or fishing, both of which he spoke of frequently.
"He enjoyed his time off, spending it with friends, family and those who shared his passion for fishing," stated Harden.
Remembering fun times is important during a memorial ceremony, said Capt. Alfred Matthews, the Mustang chaplain. He has observed too many times that focusing on the sorrow brings so many questions to ones mind, "Why did this happen? Why is he gone?"
Matthews continued that while it is important to mourn for the loss of Robinson, each one in attendance should now look to each other for support and realize "life is a blessed gift."
Remembering Robinson for who he was and the impact he had on his family, friends and co-workers should be treasured and cherished, added Matthews.
"Let us be thankful for the enriched memories Robinson left us," he said. "Grieve for the loss and look towards the future with hope."
Robinson's military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Driver and Mechanic Badge. Robinson was posthumously awarded the Army Achievement Medal for his service within 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt.
Robinson is survived by his mother, father and two brothers.