Soldier Who Taught in Baltimore County Killed in Afghanistan

Maj. Robert Marchanti was killed in an attack on the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan this weekend.

Violent anti-American protests sweeping Afghanistan have resulted in the deaths of two U.S. military advisers to NATO, including 48-year-old Maj. Robert Marchanti—a former teacher with Baltimore County Public Schools.

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed Marchanti's death on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday afternoon the Department of Defense confirmed the death of another officer, Air Force Lt. Col. John D. Loftis, 44, of Paducah, KY.

The violence in Afghanistan has been linked to an incident last week in which U.S. military personnel burned copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, outside a base in Bagram.

Local media reported earlier on Monday that Marchanti, who was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division Security Partnering Team of the Maryland Army National Guard, taught physical education at schools in Baltimore County.

A Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman, Charles Herndon, confirmed that Marchanti worked for the school system from 1990 until 2008. During that time he taught at , Victory Villa Elementary School, the , , and .

Marchanti's body will return home Monday evening in a dignified transfer ceremony held at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, DE.

“Through Maj. Marchanti’s service and sacrifice, we are reminded of the brave men and women who risk their lives every day protecting our freedom and safeguarding the people of our of State and our nation. On behalf of all Marylanders, I’d like to extend our most sincere condolences. Our thoughts are with the Marchanti family at this time," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement to the media.

The full text of a press release sent to the media by the Maryland National Guard follows:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Maryland National
Guard Soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Maj. Robert Marchanti, 48, of Baltimore, Md., died Feb. 25 in Kabul
Afghanistan, of wounds received during an attack on the Afghan Interior
Ministry. He was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division Security Partnering
Team of the Maryland Army National Guard.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Marchanti family during this most
difficult time," said Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the adjutant general. "It
is impossible for most of us to understand the emotional turmoil they must
be going through. The loss of one of our own is always very difficult, and
very little can be said to ease the pain, but we will always remember Maj.
Marchanti's dedication to our nation as we honor his service and sacrifice."

Marchanti joined the Active duty Army in 1984 before joining the Maryland
National Guard in 1986. He worked full-time for the Maryland National Guard
in the Construction and Facilities Management Office at the 5th Regiment
Armory in Baltimore. He was married and had four children and one grandson.

Maj. Marchanti is the twelfth Maryland Army National Guardsman to lose his
life in the Global War on Terror. Since 9/11, nearly 10,400 Maryland
National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been called to support various
mobilizations including Operations in Iraq Afghanistan and the relief
efforts for multiple hurricanes and snow storms.

John February 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Rest in Peace, Major!
Bruce Vail February 28, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Tragic. What a waste of valuable human life. Geez, isn't it time to end this pointless military adventurism in Afgahnistan?
Nelson DeJesus February 28, 2012 at 03:51 AM
And here we have apologies and asked to be diplomatic while we all damn well know we need to ban together, get them out of there where we are not wanted mostly because of a political policy of a regime that is in office requiring to insisting to exist to stay in office,period...we need leaders that are not Islamic based giving them opportunities to allow this happen again..it should not have happened in the first place...heck do we need to grow our hair and beards and take to the streets and protest all over again as in the 60s..Hilary Clinton wants to as she stated if we speak up against Islam we should be punished...where are we headed or beheaded...don't let this happen again...as I said it should not had to happen...this is and should be personal as it was done to mine and your family member cause he was...he was a teacher..one we gave our most precious possession our children...he was a teacher of the fifth grade...my hair is starting to grow again maybe you should as well...this should also be considered a crime of the policy of the leader(s) of the office in power get him out now not another term..it's a criminal act to apologize to his people not ours!!!!
anita bass February 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Bob Marchanti was a great person. I am so happy that my children were taught by him at Victory Villa. My prayers go out to his family. Please remember that he will never be forgotten.
MaryLynn Swartz February 29, 2012 at 12:49 PM
A wonderful family lost their wonderful dad.
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