A public memorial service for Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts of Owasso is set for Saturday in Claremore.

A member of the Tulsa-based 138th Fighter Wing, Roberts, 28, died March 11 in a rocket attack at Camp Taji in Iraq. He had been in Iraq for two months.

Roberts’ memorial service will include a ceremony officially promoting him to the rank of technical sergeant.

The service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Expo Center in Claremore, 400 Veterans Parkway.

Among Roberts’ survivors are his wife and fellow 138th Fighter Wing member, Kristie Roberts, and a daughter, Paityn.

“We have spent the last two months in a season of unresolved mourning,” his family said in a statement Wednesday. “While we cannot offer resolution, we are happy knowing that we can finally honor the life of a great man, a hero, and someone we all love. We hope you all will be able to join us in celebrating Marshal Roberts.”

Marshal was the first member in the history of the Oklahoma Air National Guard to be killed in combat.

“Marshal’s service to his country and ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten,” the family’s statement says.

“Marshal’s family is not limited to only those related by blood and marriage. His friends and fellow Airmen at the 138th Fighter Wing and beyond were an extremely important part of shaping his life.”

The family asks that those with special memories of Roberts write them down and leave the papers at the service. Military members may attach the messages to Roberts’ technical sergeant stripes.

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