Robert Chambers


Camden Metheny

Robert Chambers of Monette participates in the flag folding ceremony at last week’s Veterans Day program.

Cadyn Qualls

“In April of 1969 I was inducted into the United States Army. I was 18 years old. I raised my right hand and said that I’d protect and defend the United States of America. I left the cotton fields then prepared to go into training – to go into the battlefields. I went to Fort Campbell, Ky., and that’s where I spent basic training. Then, I went to Fort Knox, Ky., for 10 weeks for communications.

“I was a radio operator. At that time, there were a lot of guys going to Vietnam, Korea, and other places. I ended up going to Europe, in Germany. Munich was my company headquarters. I was stationed between Landsberg and Augsburg. It was a missile detachment, but it was a holdover for Vietnam. They could ship you in or ship you out at any time. It was just a call away. I ended up staying there for 18 months as a ham operator. What I did with the team was in communications. We didn’t guard the missiles or assemble the missiles.

“It was a good experience. It gave me a better outlook on life. It helped me to be a better person. It makes you appreciate a lot of things – especially good cooking. It makes you realize what a great nation we do have. The freedom we have – you don’t want to ever take it for granted. It’s costly to keep that freedom. A lot of the guys I trained with didn’t make it home. You think about that a lot – especially on Veterans Day.You want to remember them every day, not just on Veteran’s day.

“It was an honor to go and an honor to serve. I served two years total, and 18 months were spent overseas. When I got out of the regular Army, I joined the 875th National Guard in Jonesboro for a year, and I was a radio operator.

“I did go to college and worked in a local factory for a while. I decided to go to school and got a degree in radio-television. I did broadcasting for 15 years and minored in sociology.

“I love to serve. Now that I’m retired, I still serve. I’m on the Arkansas Baptist Relief. I’ve been to disaster areas where there have been tornadoes and hurricanes.That’s my life basically; it’s been about serving, and I enjoy it. Part of that was military, and I extended that on to my civilian life. I’ve met a lot of good people and helped a lot of good people. Gave people hope.”