VETS: Stories of Service | Robert Hilliard
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Robert Hilliard

Robert (Bob) Hilliard (Born 1926)

Sanibel, Private First Class, 2nd Infantry Division, US Army, Retired

Bob Hilliard enlisted in the US Army at age 18 and was assigned as a private to the 36th Infantry Division in Camp Blanding, Florida.  He was then deployed to Europe, arriving there just after D-Day.  He participated in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.  He was wounded several times during his term of duty and he received a Purple Heart Medal.  Eventually due to his wounds, he was sent to the 2nd Air Disarmament Division in Germany, assigned to capture German equipment.  He remained there for the duration of his term.  After a short stint working as the division’s German translator, he was asked to start an Army Newspaper.  His first assignment was to cover a concert being performed by concentration camp survivors at a nearby makeshift hospital located in a monastery, called St. Ottilien. What he discovered was so horrific, it changed everything for him.