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Army soldier from Fontana dies of Afghanistan wounds

September 14, 2013|By Tony Perry
  • Staff Sgt. Robert E. Thomas Jr. with his wife, Kristina, and their daughter, Hailey.
Staff Sgt. Robert E. Thomas Jr. with his wife, Kristina, and their daughter,… (U.S. Army )

A U.S. Army soldier from Fontana has died of wounds suffered in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Saturday.

Staff Sgt. Robert E. Thomas Jr., 24, died Friday at Brooke Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas of wounds suffered "during a non-combat related incident" in the Maiwand area of Afghanistan on April 21. No details of the incident were released.

Thomas was on his second deployment to Afghanistan. He had also served in Iraq.

"He never complained, never griped," said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Amos. "He was there for everyone."

A squad leader in a mortar platoon, Thomas was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team at Ft. Bliss, Texas. He deployed to Afghanistan in December.

Staff Sgt. Hector Pichardo said Thomas "is someone I'll hold in my heart. I'll always remember him."

Thomas graduated from Etiwanda High School in June 2006 and enlisted in the Army the next month. He is survived by his wife, Kristina, and their daughter, Hailey.


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