Soldier remembered

Memories of U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Paul Kassin:

• Bethaney Beach said her brother was a music and sports lover. She said he enjoyed singing along with the radio and often said he would be Kenny Rogers or Garth Brooks if given the chance.

• Beach recalled a teenage Kassin who coaxed his friends into an annual Halloween contest; the boys would dress as women and walk Main Street vying for men’s phone numbers.

• Beach said her brother visited the family often and took an extended leave to care for his ailing mother. “He was a loud kid,” Beach said, “but he grew into a serious adult who always returned home to take care of his responsibilities.”

• Clovis’ Jay Martin said he met Kassin about 12 years ago. He said they spent many hours playing pool. “He was a pretty decent player,” Martin said. “He beat me more than a few times.”

• Katrina Najera said her brother was a “redneck” who fixed things with duct tape and loved hunting, fishing and outdoor activities. But she said he also had a serious, responsible side: “He always said that he wanted to die with his boots on and his rifle in his hand.”

• Robert Joseph Kassin of Clovis said his son was proud to serve his country. “I feared for his safety but also was proud of what he was doing,” he said. “I knew the possibility (he could die) existed, but I also knew the importance of what he was doing and supported him.”

• Lucia Kassin said she last saw her son in December when he visited Clovis while she was in the hospital. “My son was there to take care of me,” she said. “I felt bad because he was taking care of me — the kids aren’t supposed to take care of me; I’m supposed to take care of them.”