Bobby Smith

Bobby Smith turns a page in his memoir.

ATLANTA, Texas -- Bobby Smith was training for anti-aircraft artillery. Then the Korean War ended in 1953. And the Army found a new job for him.

Bobby wrote his life story, "A little of this, a little of that," in a three-hole punch notebook. That’s a clue to why the Army found Bobby a new role.

"They found out I could type. And they made me the battery clerk," he said with a grin.

That skill he learned in high school in Greenville, Texas would also put him to work in personnel, supply, mail distribution and public information. His Army career included a couple of tours in the Vietnam War. But was he out of danger?

"Not really," Bobby says. "I was shot at 3 times."

He says the first time 1960 in a coup attempt in south Vietnam.

"I stuck my head out the window too far to watch what was going on. Somebody didn't like it. They put a round right underneath me," he said with a chuckle."

Another time was sniper fire as he helped set up a show for the troops. And the other was a drive-by as worked on a vehicle on the side of a road.

"He was bouncing a shooting at the same time," Bobby says of the shooter's car with poor shocks on a bumpy road. "He couldn't hit a butt with a bass fiddle."

Bobby even met his wife in the Army. Audrey was in the Women’s Army Corps. They’ve been married going on 65 years. That's another way the Army changed his life in the 21 years Bobby served.

"I really enjoyed all of it," he says.

Bobby also had assignments at the Pentagon, and in Belgium with NATO. He also took part in Operation Glory – the repatriation of the remains of hundreds of Americans after the Korean War.

And we send out happy birthday wishes to Bobby, as he turns 86 this week!


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