Minnesota Marine killed in Iraqby Cara Hetland, Minnesota Public Radio
As we prepare for the long Memorial Day weekend, one southern Minnesota town will remember its most recent fallen soldier. Lance Cpl. Robert Posivio III was killed in Iraq on Tuesday. Posivio is the 37th person with Minnesota ties to die in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Robert Posivio, 22, grew up on a farm near Sherburn just 15 miles west of Fairmont.
Randy Grupe, superintendent at Martin County West schools, says Posivio was a solid student and athlete.
"Robert was just a real fine young man, and a real vibrant personality in the community," says Grupe. "He was real active in school, in both the extra curricular and co-curricular activities. Some of those included band, choir, FFA, football and wrestling."
Posivio joined the Marines four years ago, right out of high school. He was serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. Posivio was killed Tuesday when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb.
His parents, Robert Jr. and Patti, said Thursday this was their son's third tour of duty in Iraq.
"He was scared. He didn't want to go, but he went because it was his duty. He loved his country, and he wanted to serve it," his parents said.
Posivio had just recently been sent back into combat after he was injured in an attack on his unit in April. In that attack near Fallujah, Posivio was injured, and two other Marines were killed.
Posivio's father Robert Jr. said when two Marines came to his house this week, he thought it was about the earlier incident.
"We were hoping when we saw those men coming across our yard that they were delivering the Purple Heart that my son had earned a month prior from previous injuries. But that was not the case," Posivio said. "It was very hard."
A photo supplied by the Marine Corps shows Robert Posivio at a memorial service for one of those soldiers, kneeling before a memorial made from the soldier's helmet and rifle.
School superintendent Randy Grupe says Posivio was proud to serve as a Marine.
"Robert was a real doer ... What I always remember is that when Robert was home on leave and had a break from the service, (he was) always in military dress. He was just so proud to be serving our country," says Grupe. "Whether it was at church, or whether it might be at Memorial Day services, or it might be at some other function at the school -- it might be a football game he came back for -- he was always in military dress. He was so proud of that."
The Posivio family suffered another loss two years ago, when another son, 19-year-old Daniel, was killed in a car accident while home on leave from the Navy.
"That's more than one family should have to endure, that's for sure," he says.
Grupe says Posivio's tour of duty in Iraq would have ended in July.
"He was looking forward to coming back home and seeing his girlfriend, and those type of things," says Grupe. "I'm not sure what his professional goals would have been, but this would have been the completion of his four years in the military."
Funeral arrangements for Robert Posivio are pending. In addition to his parents, Posivio is also survived by a sister.