Tammy Wise says when her son Robert put on that ROTC uniform, he transformed before her eyes, from a boy to a man. Tammy shows a picture of her son wearing a birthday ribbon she mailed him on his 21st birthday.
“He was quite proud of his ribbon that said I'm the birthday boy,” said Tammy Wise. At age 21, Robert wasn't celebrating his birthday in a tavern like most young men. He was on the battlefield in Iraq.
Four months later his life was cut short when he was killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. Today, his mother finds comfort sharing wonderful memories, like the time Robert asked her to chaperone his military ball. Mom said yes on two conditions.
“One was he had to pose for a photo with me, the other, he had to dance with me. As soon as we walked through the door he said, we're going to take our picture now!”
Tammy said. Robert later asked his mom to dance under the spotlight as he requested a special song. Those are just some of the beautiful memories Tammy says makes a mother proud. Memories she'll never forget.
“I can't tell you how proud I am of him. He was doing what he wanted to do,” said Tammy Wise. “He had a bumper sticker on his car that read God grants liberty to those who love it and are willing to defend it, he lived what he believed in.”
The Capitol City will honor Specialist Wise of the Florida National Guard, with a memorial service Tuesday at 6:00 in the evening at the Armory in Tallahassee. The 21-year-old will be buried on November 24 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.