Odenbosche soldier honored by name on Viaduct A17

Through: John Wagenmakers


OUDENBOSCH – During an official meeting at Tivoli Odenbosch, in the presence of family and old comrades-in-arms, the Viaduct A17 Exit Oud Gastel/Borchwerf was named after Robert Donkers and is now named after “Sgt. 1st Class Robert Donkers It is said. Robert, born March 25, 1974 in Odenbosch, died on April 6, 2007 while on a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife Mira, who was expecting son Stan, parents and brother Edward.

On the initiative of the 75 Years of Freedom Coordinating Foundation, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management together with the Veterans Platform has developed a plan to name bridges and viaducts after soldiers who died during their deployment for peace. Mission, died from the United Nations Mission in Korea. “This is one of the ways to bring veterans to the attention of a wider audience. They died for our freedom. Lest we forget,” said Hans van Griensven, President of the Veterans Platform.

Lieutenant Colonel Goossens was Robert’s regimental commander at the time and witnessed his death very closely. During the meeting, he talks about it in a very sharp manner. “At the end of March 2007 we were deployed to Uruzgan in Afghanistan. On April 6, we left with a unit of 16 to 17 cars. It was high tide and we had to wade to find our way. I suddenly see Rob’s car sinking into the sand in front of me and slowly tilting to the river bed. But we didn’t see Rob. He fell under the vehicle. We started resuscitation immediately. This went on and on, including a ride to Camp Holland, where we received confirmation that Rob had passed away. That day the big blunder started…”

“We have had to miss Rob for over 16 years. He has been talked about a lot and I still think about him every day. It is good that there is a concrete memory of him now, although of course than I would have loved to have Rob with me. I am also grateful that the ‘Green’ family came along for so many,” Mira said in her acceptance speech, among other things. “We live in Kerkred And in consultation with the initiative group, it became the viaduct. Closer to where he comes from. This is a good initiative. A tangible memory, so that it cannot be forgotten, ”she says later. Asked how Stan, who never knew his father, is experiencing all this, she says: “He’s in puberty now and developing his own identity and a little tired of being the son. was. But he definitely thinks it’s a good project. He doesn’t know what it’s like to miss his father, because he never knew him. I’ve kept a lot from Rob, certainly later Same for Stan.”

Former Air Force General Tom de Bock is the project leader for all appointments. “It was 25th out of 46. We look for the place of birth, the place of last residence or near the camp. The aim is to confront the Dutch population with the fact that soldiers are still dying. ”(n)

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