Local soldier, father of five, killed in Iraq

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, May 26, 2007

AUGUSTA, GA--A Fort Gordon soldier and father of five is killed in Iraq.
His grieving family shares stories of his life with News 12.

For the first time in almost three years, Fort Gordon loses a soldier in the War in Iraq. Thirty-six year old Sgt. First Class Robert Dunham was killed Thursday when the Humvee he was riding in was hit by an explosive.

Robert Dunham was a man who wore many hats. He was a soldier, a minister, a son, a husband, and a father of five. A faithful man to his family and to God, a man that will be truly missed.

Charles R. Dunham Jr. says the loss of his son has been hard. "Even in my quiet hours I weep. He's my oldest and we're all going to miss him."

"My husband Robert was a man of integrity and honor. He loved the lord and he loved his family." says wife Kimberly Dunham.

His father adds "He was very devoted to whatever he had to do as far as the military, as far as family, that was Robert."

Sgt. First Class Robert Dunham, a faithful and devoted family man, died serving his country Thursday after a nineteen year long military career.

"Mainly we'll miss his smile. He had a big smile that would make you just want to smile with him." says his father. He adds his son Robert was a son who would make any father proud, and he's at peace knowing Robert died doing a job that he loved. "He's faithful. Not once did he regret or have any ill words about what he had to do. He'd say dad I have orders."

Orders that took him around the world seven different times and into four major wars, right into harms way, and away from his family. The father of five shared two children with his wife Kimberly, who was also in the army. The couple had just celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary the week before he was killed.

His wife reflects on how they first met. "We met in church. He was playing the piano and i was singing. I was praying for a piano player and he walked in the door. I didn't know he was going to be my husband too, but that's the way it turned out."

Kimberly says her husband was a devout Christian minister, who often used his musical talents to bring others closer to the Lord. "Everytime he played you knew you were going into the presence of the Lord. Everytime he played. Everytime."

While her loss is still painful, Kimberly, a strong wife and now single mother, says she is comforted by the same peace she felt the day she last saw her husband alive. That was In December when he left on what would be his final mission. "I had peace. Always had peace that he was coming home. And he's home now. He's home."

As of right now funeral arrangements for Sgt. First Class Dunham are incomplete, but the family says they do plan to bury him here in Augusta.

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