L’Anse Soldier Dies in Afghanistan

The ongoing military struggle in Afghanistan has touched the western U.P. very personally.

A Baraga County soldier has died in that conflict.

The remains of 21-year-old Army Private First Class Robert L. Voakes, Jr. were flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Monday afternoon.

Voakes was from L’Anse and was a 2009 graduate of Baraga High School.

He was killed in action over the weekend as part of Operating Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon says Voakes is one of four soldiers to die of wounds sustained Saturday when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.

They were assigned to a military police battalion from Elmendorf-Richardson base in Alaska.

Reid Funeral Service and Chapel in L’Anse is in charge of the arrangements.

As of the early-evening hours tonight, those arrangements had not yet been finalized.