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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2007
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Duty calls:
Back to Iraq

Decatur soldier who stayed with
dying Mom returning to active duty

By Paul Huggins
Phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

Several weeks after laying his mother to rest, Sgt. Tim Robinson said he's ready to return to active duty in Iraq.

"If my mother was still here, that's what she would have wanted," he said. "She would have wanted me to live my life."

Robinson will leave for Iraq on Thursday, though the Army was considering letting the National Guardsman serve his remaining four months of duty in the United States.

In April the Decatur resident became a symbol of the hardships soldiers endure when his emergency leave ran out and it appeared he would have to leave his dying mother's bedside. After getting one extension, the Army denied his second request for an extension.

The Daily's report on Robinson's plight sparked community support as well as intervention from Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville. The Army gave Robinson an extension and was considering not returning him to Iraq at all.

That allowed him to be home when his mother, Katie Mae Jones, died April 26.

Robinson said the matter of where he would finish his duty was not resolved but now that the urgency of his mother's death is past, he was able to think more clearly about his next step.

He said he gave the matter long thought and concluded that his mother would want him to finish what he started. He also said he misses his comrades and he feels an obligation to rejoin their struggle.

He serves with the 203rd Military Police Battalion, based in Athens. The unit guards a major prison camp.

"We have a sense of camaraderie, a sense of mission," Robinson said. "We have a job to do. Let's go ahead and do it.

"It will be a long rough journey," he concluded, "but I will come out of this all right."

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