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UNT alumnus dies after attack on Afghan base

Profile image for By Bj Lewis and Matthew Zabel / Staff Writers
By Bj Lewis and Matthew Zabel / Staff Writers

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Robert F. Welch III, formerly of Denton, died Sunday of wounds he received when insurgents attacked his base in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said Tuesday. Lt. Robert F. Welch III

Welch, 26, was an ordnance officer assigned to Company B, 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Knox, Ky.

Welch attended the University of North Texas from 2003 to 2007, said UNT spokesman Buddy Price. He was a 2003 graduate of Wylie High School.

Fort Knox spokesman Kyle Hodges said Welch was on his first combat tour. He joined the Army in October 2008 and arrived at the Kentucky base in July 2009.

His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal Afghanistan, Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and Bar, and the Army Service Ribbon.

He has been awarded the NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously, Hodges said.

Fort Knox has scheduled a memorial service for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Prichard Place Chapel. A memorial service is scheduled to take place in Afghanistan on Thursday.

The last Denton County soldier to die in Operation Enduring Freedom was Army Sgt. Carlos A. Benitez of Carrollton, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on Oct. 14.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is .

MATTHEW ZABEL can be reached at 940-566-6884. His e-mail address is .