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Lawmakers comment on the death of Oklahoma Air National Guardsman

OKLAHOMA CITY -The chairs of the Legislative Veterans Caucus and the Senate and House Committees on Veterans and Military Affairs are expressing their condolences after the passing of Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, of Owasso. The 28-year-old Oklahoma Air National Guardsman was killed in a rocket attack in Iraq on Wednesday, March 11.  

According to the Oklahoma Military Department, Roberts is the first Oklahoma Air National Guardsman to be killed in action and the 20th Oklahoma National Guardsman who has died while deployed overseas since Sept. 11, 2001.

Roberts enlisted in 2014 and was a member of the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron, 138th Fighter Wing, headquartered in Tulsa.  He served as the 219th’s senior personnel noncommissioned officer and was killed while deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Sen. Paul Rosino and Rep. Jay Steagall are co-chairs of the Legislative Veterans Caucus.

“On behalf of the entire Veterans Caucus, we want to express our deepest condolences to Staff Sergeant Roberts’ family during this incredibly difficult time,” said Rosino, R-Oklahoma City.  “We ask our fellow Oklahomans to please pray for Marshal, his family, friends and fellow troops.  This is a terrible loss for his community, our state and for the nation, but we remain forever grateful for his life and service.”

“It is heartbreaking to learn of the death of Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts in this attack,” said Steagall, R-Yukon. “Brave service men and women risk their lives every day for our nation’s freedoms, but it is still incredibly hard to accept that they will not be returning home to their families and loved ones. I am so sorry for their loss and will certainly be asking God to provide comfort and care during this time of distress.”

Sen. Frank Simpson chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs.

“Our hearts go out to Staff Sergeant Roberts’ family and friends as well as to the Owasso community and his comrades in the 138th. He is an American hero who served bravely and with honor to help fight the cruel terrorism that threatens so many around the world of their freedoms and basic human rights. There is no greater sacrifice one can make for their country, and we will never forget him or his service,” said Simpson, R-Springer. 

Rep. Tommy Hardin is chair of the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

“Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts was a heroic and brave soldier fighting to defend freedom not only for citizens in our nation but for others around the world,” said Hardin, R-Madill. “His death is a difficult loss for his family and the Oklahoma military and veterans community. I will certainly be praying his loved ones are comforted during this time.”

For more information, contact:

Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email

Sen. Frank Simpson at 405-521-5607 or email

Rep. Jay Steagall at 405-557-7352 or email

Rep. Tommy Hardin at 405-557-7383 or email