The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Gunners Mate 2nd Class Dion Rashun Roberts, 23, of North Chicago, Ill., died Sept. 22 as a result of a single vehicle accident in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He was assigned to an East Coast Naval Special Warfare Unit.
For more information, media may contact Naval Special Warfare Command public affairs office at 619-522-2816.
from NEWS SUN:Updated: September 27, 2012 3:36AM
NORTH CHICAGO — The young sailor from North Chicago who died in Afghanistan on Saturday was the victim of a single-vehicle accident, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Department of Defense.
Gunners Mate 2nd Class Dion Rashun Roberts, 23, a 2005 graduate of North Chicago High School, was serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when he was killed in the eastern city of Jalalabad, according to the statement. He was assigned to the East Coast Naval Special Warfare Unit.
Roberts, the son of John and Janice Roberts of the 1800 block of Elizabeth Avenue, also leaves behind a sister and nephew. He was due to return from a six-month deployment in October. Navy officials told the family that Roberts was killed during a training exercise.
He is the first native of North Chicago to die in the War on Terror. Twenty-eight servicemen with Lake County ties have died since 2001.
Roberts, a Navy petty officer, was recalled as charming, charismatic and friendly by friends and relatives.
“He was very highly thought of,” said North Chicago High School Principal Eric Gallagher, who said Roberts was a student in the school’s Academy of Finance, and that he was on the volleyball and tennis teams.
Roberts was also a leader in NJROTC. He enlisted in the Navy as a high school senior and went through boot camp at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes.
“He had a strong character,” recalled a close friend, Aamin Stokes, who said he enlisted with Roberts on Valentine’s Day, but later changed his mind.
“He was one of a kind, an extraordinary personality,” Stokes said. “He could make any situation the most hilarious.”