A local family is honoring their loved one, who was killed overseas.
Specialist Robert Allan Pierce was killed in Afghanistan while serving in the United States Army on June 3, 2013. He was 20-years-old.
“You’re just lost,” said Kyle Dart, Pierce’s brother. “Really, it’s been a year and it’s still hard to grasp. To know that I’m 26-years-old, my little brother is gone, and he will not be here for the rest of my life.”
Dart said his brother, a fellow soldier, and several children were killed by a suicide bomber, with no attack following the bombing.
Dart said he called in sick from work earlier that day. He said he wasn’t sick, he just didn’t feel normal.
Lying on his couch resting, Dart received a call.
“It was my mother,” Dart said. “She just asked where I was at, and what I was doing. She told me the words that I always remember, ‘Allan is gone’.”
In order to publically memorialize the ultimate sacrifice Specialist Pierce made for his country, the family has taken proper steps to name part of Highway 71 after their soldier.
The family has already purchased roadside signs for the section of the highway near Mansfield. They are awaiting proper approval by the Highway Department before potting them up.
“It’s unfortunate that [the signs] are there,” Dart said. “But, it means a lot, because our family is from Mansfield. Allan graduated from Mansfield. My mother graduated from Mansfield. My grandparents graduated from Mansfield.”
Specialist Pierce leaves behind his wife and a son, a child he never met.
“They found out she was pregnant, he never even got to attend a doctor’s appointment,” Dart said. “He’s 9 months-old-now. He looks just like him, acts just like him.”
Dart keeps a necklace close to his heart in honor of his brother.
“He was an American soldier that died a hero, and I love talking about him,” Dart said. “I will continue to talk about him for the rest of my life. I will tell my baby, and his, what happened, and I’m going to tell him all the stories. He will know his dad’s a hero.”
The family funded the signs through three thousand dollars in donations. All remaining proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.