DENTON (KRLD/AP) – A 26-year-old Denton soldier and 2003 graduate of Wylie High School has died while fighting in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

First Lieutenant Robert Welch III died Sunday after insurgents attacked his base.

Welch was an ordnance officer based at Fort Knox in Kentucky.  Welch entered the U.S. Army in 2008 and arrived at Fort Knox in July 2009.  Welch was on his first combat tour.

In North Texas is being called a loving husband and proud father.  He was on the football team while at Wylie and head coach Bill Howard says he was a special person and a leader on the football team. He was also very active in ROTC.

KRLD’s Austin York talks with Howard

Howard says the community and the nation has lost a special person.

There will be a memorial service at Fort Knox on Friday in honor of him. There is also a memorial service scheduled for Thursday in Afghanistan.

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