Last Known Activity Army Sgt Gordon was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington. He died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from a non-combat related illness, after becoming ill September 11 in southern Afghanistan. Robert's father died at a young age and he was raised by his mother. His mom, Diane, always knew he would go into the military – his dad was an infantryman so that the course he would take. Until Robert was old enough to join the Army, he made do with his G.I. Joes and would put his little men through their paces. In 2006, he graduated from Red Level High School in Red Level, Alabama and enlisted in the Army. Robert had recently re-enlisted for six more years and his unit was sent to Afghanistan in July. David was stationed close to Kabul, Afghanistan and while in the countryside he came into contact with goat herdsmen and was bitten by a tick from their animals. On September 11, he became ill and doctors began treating him. He was transferred to Germany and was in a coma for five days before his death. Doctors say he contracted the rare Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. Robert lived for his family and his brothers in arms. He was a dedicated soldier who would make it a point to carry the heaviest packs and stay positive when training became almost unbearable. On a long march, he would tell the other guys "Keep your heads up. We're almost there. Don't worry, there's light at the end." Robert was a religious man who loved life, the Crimson Tide football team of the University of Alabama, and family and friends. His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal (three awards), National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Expert Infantryman Badge, and Parachutist Badge. His chain of command has recommended him for a Bronze Star Medal with V-device for valor "for his outstanding leadership during missions in Afghanistan." Robert's final wish was to be buried with a photo of his platoon, a Bible, and "a fifth of gentleman Jack Daniels."