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San Marcos Soldier Dies While on Peace-Keeping Mission in Kosovo

Staff Sgt. Conrad A. Robinson died at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo from a non-combat-related incident, the Pentagon said

A San Marcos soldier died Thursday from a non-combat-related incident, the Department of Defense announced Friday.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Conrad A. Robinson, 36, died at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, the Pentagon said.

"We're extremely saddened by the death Staff Sgt. Conrad Robinson," Lt. Col. Kevin Kelly said. "Staff Sgt. Robinson was known around the battalion for his infectious smile, humor and kind heart. He was the definition of selfless service and took the time every day to listen and mentor Soldiers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."

Kelly is the commander of the 261st Medical Battalion out of Fort Bragg, N.C, where Robinson was assigned.

Robinson was an 18-year veteran and was on his last tour of duty, according to his mother, Synthia Robinson.

"I still can't believe it," she told NBC 7. "I just can't believe that he is gone."

Robinson was deployed on Operation Joint Guardian, a joint mission with NATO to help secure the Serbian province, as a preventive medicine specialist.

He grew up in San Marcos, attended San Marcos High School and Palomar College before enlisting in the Army.

"He's the type of son that you know calls mom checks up on mom," Synthia said. "Every single Mother's Day Conrad would send me flowers."

This year, however, Robinson gave a charm ring that Synthia turned into a necklace. She didn't know that it would be the last Mother's Day present he would give her.

"This charm necklace is going to be close to my heart for him because he's not going to be here," she said through tears.

During his distinguished 18-year career, Robinson received five Army Commendation Medals, six Army Achievement Medals, two Meritorious Unit Citations, one Korean Defense Service Medal and one NATO Medal.

"He was the best son, husband, father, caring person — would do anything for anybody," Synthia said.

Robinson's death is still under investigation. Synthia said he was found in a chair unresponsive Thursday morning before his regular workout.

He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, ages 5 and 10.

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