SEYMOUR, Mo. — Missouri National Guard officials say a soldier from Seymour, Missouri, has died in Afghanistan.
Sergeant First Class Robert Pharris was killed January 5 when he and some fellow soldiers were hit by a roadside bomb.
The 48-year-old was an agriculture specialist and the first casualty for the Missouri National Guard's Agri-Business Development Team. SFC Pharris helped teach Afghan farmers about growing crops other than poppies.
SFC Pharris was born in Mansfield. His father was a farmer and Marine who served in Korea and Vietnam. His grandfather was a farmer and World War II soldier. His great-grandfather was also a farmer and World War I soldier.
SFC Pharris was featured in a November, Military News article talking about his experience with the Afghan farmers:
"I see a chance here to really make a difference," SFC Pharris said. "It would be interesting to come back here in ten years and see a farmer with his crops, a green valley here again, and to have someone tell them they learned that from an Afghan who was taught by an American. How cool would that be?"