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Throughout my life, there have been people that have influenced me to become a better man, one of those men was my father and the other was an old man named Bob. Bob Haught from Girard Pennsylvania passed away a few years ago at the age of 88. His infectious smile, and daily good nature made it difficult for anyone to not become close with him immediately.
He was a very good friend of my father’s and I grew up hearing stories about his service during WWII and many others from our hometown. These stories are one of the main reasons that I enlisted in the military. To get a grasp of his military accomplishments here is an excerpt from his obituary.
“He was inducted into the Army in September, 1943. After induction, he volunteered for service in the paratroops. He received his jump wings at Fort Benning, Georgia and then was assigned to Company A, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division, whose motto was “Thunder From Heaven”. The division entered combat in Europe at Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. Robert received 3 bronze campaign stars for the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns.”
What the obituary doesn’t say however was the fact that he suffered frostbite in the Ardennes, changing the way he walked for the rest of his life. After going through so much strife over 70 years ago, he lay in his bed knowing death was coming soon, and was still as fearless as ever.
Ready to leave this world not in the bullet raining chaos that so many of his comrades were taken in, but as an old man with a full life and a family who loved him. We as the current force defending our country owe men like Bob Haught an insurmountable debt.
As i write this in a tent in the middle east, i still feel that no matter how hard we think we have it now, it comes nothing in comparison to the men who fought before us. Honoring their memory and sacrifice should be important to every one of us, so please help me pass along the stories of great Americans like my friend Bob.
David is from Girard Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2012 and is the crew chief of an amphibious assault vehicle with the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion (3rd AABN) stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. He is currently deployed on the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.