Pentagon reports death of Army Sgt. Robert J. Billings of west Michigan
Army Sgt. Robert J. Billings dies in Afghanistan from an explosive device blast
The Pentagon is reporting the death of a West Michigan high school graduate in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan.
Thirty-year-old Army Sgt. Robert J. Billings died Saturday of wounds from an improvised explosive device blast in Spin Boldak. Billings listed his hometown as Clarksville, Va.
WOOD-TV says he graduated in 2001 from Morley-Stanwood High School. It's in Mecosta County's Deerfield Township, 40 miles north-northeast of Grand Rapids.
WZZM-TV says he joined the Army in 2005 and served in Iraq as well.
Ex-teacher Tim Paczewski tells WXMI-TV that Billings had "a lot of determination" and was "very goal-oriented" and was "very likable" and friendly.
Billings was part of the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.