By Debbie Gregory.
It is unfathomable that members of the U.S. Military can return home from war zones, only to be injured or killed at a country music festival.
This situation must be especially hard to accept for their loved ones, who worried so much while they were overseas, and thought the worst of it was behind them.
The senseless massacre claimed the lives of U.S. Navy veteran Christopher Roybal and Army veteran Charles Hartfield.
Roybal, 28, of Corona, CA was in Las Vegas celebrating his birthday with mom, Debbie Allen, and some of his friends. He worked as a manager at a Crunch Fitness gym in Colorado, and would have turned 29 on Monday. Roybal enlisted in 2007, and served as a dog handler in Afghanistan. He was medically discharged in 2012 when he lost most of the hearing in his left ear as a result of his proximity to multiple explosions over the course of his military career.
Serving with the Nevada Army National Guard since 2004, Sgt. 1st Class Hartfield, 34, was an off-duty Las Vegas police officer. The former 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper served at Fort Bragg. Known as Charles or “ChuckyHart,” Hartfield was a youth football coach, husband, father of two and an author — he recently published a book titled “Memoirs of a Public Servant.”
“Sergeant First Class Charleston Hartfield was an All American Paratrooper for life and, as with all who wear the AA patch, he and his Family remain part of our legacy even in death,” said Maj. Sarah Henderson, a spokeswoman for the 82nd Airborne, referring to the division’s nickname. “By all accounts he was a special human being, someone who carried the best virtues and characteristics from this Division with him beyond his service here.”