The Owasso post office could be renamed after a local veteran who died in the line of duty earlier this year.
Rep. Kevin Hern introduced legislation on Friday, Oct. 16, to retitle the branch, located at 1233 N. Cedar St., in honor of Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso, who was killed on March 11, when his unit stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq was engaged by indirect enemy fire.
“Sergeant Marshal Roberts served his country with integrity and gave his all in the line of duty this spring,” Hern said in a news release. “His legacy has inspired so many; renaming the Owasso Post Office ensures his legacy will live on for our community to see every day. Oklahomans have incredible respect for those who serve our country. We will never forget Sgt. Roberts and his sacrifice.”
A member of the Tulsa-based 138th Fighter Wing, Roberts was assigned to the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron, Oklahoma Air National Guard. He was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve at the camp, located about 17 miles north of Baghdad, when the engagement occurred.
The entire Oklahoma delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives joined Hern as original co-sponsors of the bill, including Congressmen Markwayne Mullin and Frank Lucas, who offered statements about the Owasso veteran.
“Staff Sgt. Roberts made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great country,” Mullin said in the release. “This stands as a somber reminder of the brave Oklahomans who have given their lives to protect those of us at home and those who continue to fight for our freedoms. We will never forget Staff Sgt. Roberts and continue to keep his family and friends in our prayers.”
Lucas added, “I am proud to support the naming of the Owasso Post Office in Owasso, Oklahoma, after Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts. It is an honor to recognize his sacrifice, bravery, and the example he set for all of us. His legacy, as an Airman, mentor, father, and husband, will live with us forever, and I thank him and his family for his service to this grateful country.”
Roberts enlisted in May 2014. He was the first Oklahoma Guardsman killed in action and the 20th Oklahoma Guardsman who has died while deployed overseas since Sept. 11, 2001.
In May, a procession was held for Roberts along U.S. 169, where dozens of his friends and family and other members of the community lined the highway with signs and flags to pay their respects to the soldier.
He was also posthumously honored with the 2020 Medal of Patriotism Award by the Cherokee Nation in September for his sacrifice.
Art Haddaway with the Owasso Reporter contributed to this story. Information about Marshal Roberts was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense and Oklahoma Air National Guard.