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

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DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - 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.

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