University News

Alumnus Killed in Afghanistan

September 23, 2010

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MACOMB, IL -- According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Maj. Robert F. Baldwin, a 1993 Western Illinois University graduate, formerly of New Boston (IL), was killed Sept. 21 when his Blackhawk UH-60 helicopter carrying Navy SEALs crashed during combat operations in the Zabul province of Afghanistan. Major Baldwin was one of nine U.S. troops killed in the crash. All soldiers were assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of Fort Campbell, KY.

"The Western Illinois University community expresses its deepest sympathies to Major Baldwin's family, friends and fellow soldiers," said WIU President Al Goldfarb.

Baldwin, 39, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in industrial technology and a minor in military science, was a member of Western's Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and was commissioned a second lieutenant in December 1993. He entered the U.S. Army in February 1994.

"We are saddened by the loss of Major Robert Baldwin, who dedicated himself to supporting the Afghan people and leading his fellow soldiers in combat," said WIU Military Science Chair LTC Thomas Seifert. "He faithfully lived the values of loyalty, duty, honor and selfless service."

In addition to being an active member of the WIU ROTC, Baldwin was a member of the Western Illinois Chapter of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He was a member of the Order of Omega, was the chapter's member education director and was the house director.

"Rob was an incredible young man who brought a love of life to everything he was involved in," said Dave Maguire, Delta Upsilon co-adviser and the adviser during Baldwin's time at WIU. "We will always fondly remember the time he spent with us, and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Baldwin was assigned to the brigade headquarters as an aviation liaison officer.

He is survived by his wife, Danielle Rausch Baldwin, and four children of Clarksville, TN, and his parents, Gary and Cheryl Baldwin of New Boston (IL). Funeral arrangements are pending.

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