June 9, 2010 12:56:00 PM
ROXIE - Army Staff Sgt. Robert N. Barton, a Mississippi native, was killed this past weekend when a bomb exploded near his military vehicle in Afghanistan.
Barton''s body, along with that of four other American servicemen, was returned to the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base on Tuesday. All died Sunday when a bomb blasted their Humvee.
Barton, 35, was born in 1974 and grew up in the Roxie, Miss., area.
His grandmother, Jo Beth Coleman told the McComb Enterprise-Journal that Barton was a 1993 graduate of Franklin High School, where he played center on the football team.
He joined the military the following year.
"He was a good student and a real likable person. Everybody loves him," Coleman said.
"The Army was his career. He lacked four years (retiring)."
Barton was stationed in Fort Campbell, Ky., where he was in the infantry. He was deployed to Afghanistan on April 24 to Afghanistan.
Coleman said Barton and his wife Rebecca had been married for one year and lived in Hopkinsville, Ky.
"He was military through and through," she said. "When he became a staff sergeant, I said, ''I can''t believe my Bobby is a staff sergeant. You can''t be that tough.'' But that''s part of being in the military."
Coleman said plans are for Barton to be buried in the military cemetery at Fort Campbell.
Other survivors include his father, Nathaniel Coleman of Amite County; his mother, Rebecca Paugh, who lives in West Virginia; and a half-sister and half-brother.