Bob Howard (Robert L. Howard) a Medal of Honor winner and one of the most highly decorated soldiers from the Vietnam War died today at age 70 in Waco, Texas.
Bob Howard was in a hospice in Waco and he had been there for the past three weeks with pancreatic cancer and he died at about noon today.
Retired Army Col. Robert Howard was a constant presence on the US military scene even after he retired and he always took part in many patriotic events and helped honor the wounded soldiers at Purple Heart Ceremonies.
“He said, ‘Don't forget the troops at Christmas.' He was very adamant about that,” said Chris Peche, who in 2004 helped organize the annual event, now held each year at the Alamo.
In April, Howard traveled, as he often did, to Iraq and Afghanistan to talk to U.S. troops about service. Just two months ago, he visited troops in Germany, Bosnia and Kosovo.
He was born July 11, 1939 in Opelika, Alabama, and served in the Army from 1956 to 1992. He served five tours in Vietnam and was a Sergeant First Class in the Special Forces on December 30, 1968 when he rallied his troops against 250 enemy soldiers despite being outnumbered and unable to walk himself. He was injured from grenade blasts and he was still the last man to board the helicopter out of there.
He was nominated for the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor, three times during a 13-month period. His long list of awards also included the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and eight Purple Hearts.
He was always an advocate for soldiers missing in action and it was only on Sunday that Howard said:
that military recruiters should give more waivers to young men “who've gone astray,” because they would “do better if given a second chance.”
He is remembered most for caring about his country and about the people in it.
There is going to be a memorial service in San Antonio and a burial at Arlington National Cemetery.