Guest Authors

Colonel (R) Robert L. Howard

24 Feburary 2010

From: Mellinger, Jeffrey J CSM MIL USA

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Today, at Arlington National Cemetery, we lay to rest COL(R) Robert L. Howard.  The link for the interview is at the end of this email.

Read a bit about Howard at one of these links: The Robert L. Howard Tribute Website, The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Website, The Washington Post- Medal of Honor recipient Col. Robert L. Howard dies at 70.

COL(R) Howard was arguably America's most highly decorated Warrior ever, earning more awards for valor (10) than Audie Murphy, but he was surely America’s most highly living warrior until his death.  The US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) Biographical Sketch.

Color image from the Robert L. Howard Tribute website.

Wounded 14 times in 54 months of combat duty in Vietnam, Robert Howard was awarded 8 Purple Hearts and was believed to be the most decorated living American.

Colonel Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions within a thirteen-month period. He received a direct appointment from Master Sergeant to 1st Lieutenant in 1969, and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon at the White House in 1971. Colonel Howard is one of America's most decorated soldiers. His other awards for valor include the Distinguished Service Cross - our nation's second highest award, the Silver Star - the third highest award, and eight Purple Hearts. He was the last Vietnam Special Forces Medal of Honor recipient still on active duty when he retired on Sept. 29, 1992.

Interview at the Pritzer Military Library Website.

Please find some time to read, listen and reflect on one of America’s real heroes – Robert L. Howard.  He was once my commander, and always my friend.  I last saw Bob in Iraq.

Jeff

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Comments   

 
# Michael Yon, Afghanistan 2010-02-24 00:32
America's Best

Robert Howard was one of the finest warriors this country ever produced.

He was my commander during Phase I of Special Forces selection.

Michael Yon
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# Greg from USA 2010-02-24 01:37
Thank you, Col. Howard. You are a magnificent hero.
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# Eddy Williams 2010-02-24 04:08
Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice, Col. Howard.

Thanks for letting us know about this, Michael.
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# Roger Davis Sr 2010-02-24 05:13
A salute from the heart to a dearly departed fellow Viet Nam Era veteran. May God bless and reward you for what you sacrificed for the American people.
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# Steve Kirby 2010-02-24 05:20
His family, past and present, for the giving of their son/husband/fat her as one of America's true hero's and whose life is one to be emulated for his service to his Country and those of us who continue to live free due to the dedication and perserverance of hero's such as Col. Howard.
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# Tom Reddish 2010-02-24 05:24
Rest in peace and God Bless!
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# Chris Johnson 2010-02-24 05:26
With all my respect I salute you. Rest in peace brother.
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# Old Marine 2010-02-24 05:29
Thank you, from a grateful nation!

Semper Fidelis
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# Dave Martinelli 2010-02-24 05:35
Thank you for your sacrifice to my family and our nation. You pass silently into history, leaving this world to enjoy your well deserved reward.

USN A4
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# gary bagley 2010-02-24 05:41
rest in peace brother
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# John Peery 2010-02-24 05:52
May God bless COL Robert L. Howard and his family for valor and service to this great country.
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# Honored 2010-02-24 05:58
Col Howard'd deeds are a testament to what a True American is.
May he rest in peace.
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# Pete Swartz 2010-02-24 06:00
Col. Howard - An outstanding example of a unselfish patriot.
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# Michael Fay 2010-02-24 06:04
The world needs heroes. People that inspire us to do our best for God and Country.
Colonel Howard was such a man! If I were a Hollywood Producer, I would make a movie
of his life to inspire others. Rest in peace,warrior Howard. Thank you for your many
sacrifices. Old Marine.
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# Stephen Blovat 2010-02-24 06:05
A rare breed of men sir, thank you for your spirit and your dedication to soldiers and this country. God bless you.
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# Jean 2010-02-24 06:05
My prayers are with the family and a very heartfelt thank you to this great American Hero.Thank you Michael for bringing this to us so we can let the family know we know and are supporting them with our thoughts and prayers.i KNOW HE IS IN GOD'S LOVING ARMS AND IS AT PEACE WELL DESERVED.
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# Thomas M. Evans 2010-02-24 06:07
May God Bless Col. Howard and his family for their service to this great country. His sacrifice and life are the stuff of true heroes and role models in this country. Rest in peace Soldier!
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# Jason S 2010-02-24 06:08
Thank you for your service, RIP.
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# Bryan 2010-02-24 06:08
America has been blessed to have so many outstanding individuals serve and protect her. COL Howard appears to have been one of the best of the best. We are so fortunate and thankful for the service and bravery of our military and the exceptional men and women who serve us each day. We will not forget.
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# Georgia 2010-02-24 06:09
Col Howard visited us out in the middle east last year while I was deployed. What was amazing about him was, we were there to meet one of our country's heros, and Col Howard shook our hands, thanked us for serving our country and asked us if we needed anything. He had sacrificed and served his country, he more than earned his retirement, but instead of resting into a comfortable retirement he traveled throughout the middle east visiting troops, telling us how thankful he was for our service to our country, and how if he could he would fight along side us every step of the way. Not only was he an American Hero, he was also this Nation's finest Patriot. God Bless Col Howard
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# egale3 2010-02-24 06:10
Until the left-wing media and the left-wing politicians controlled the "Korean Conflict" America fought wars only to win. If our military was cut free to go in and "get her done" we would save countless American lives and great costs to our deficit. This man ignored at great cost to himself the stupidity of our armchair media and gave what he could for God, Honor, and Country. It is ashame how far we drifted because of the lack of resolve from LBJ and the liberals both in the media and in congress. When we are at war we need to get our politicians out of the way and let brave men like Robert do what he was trained to do! Thank-you from your country and peace in your eternal rest.
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# Cav16 2010-02-24 06:11
What a great American! I am humbled by his service. I will make sure my Grand children know about this true American hero.
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# Tom Cooper 2010-02-24 06:12
Thank you, Col Howard. You were a warrior's warrior.
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# Anthony 2010-02-24 06:14
heroes like COL Howard will never be forgotten. God Bless!
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# Don Hinton 2010-02-24 06:18
Our thanks for his contribution is not nearly enough after his departing. May we pray and invest ourselves that there be more men cut from his cloth, his teaching, his example - and do all we can in life to encourage and support such men.
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# Charlie Foxtrot 2010-02-24 06:19
And Colonel, I have no doubts that St. Peter met you at the gates and said "Welcome Home".

Semper Fidelis
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# Tom Cox 2010-02-24 06:24
I wrote this back in November, but thought of it when I read the news, above, about another giant fallen.
http://tomcox.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/veterans-day-thoughts-while-sitting-on-the-shoulders-of-giants/
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# Tom Kaminski 2010-02-24 06:24
Word's cannot express what a great patriot, soldier and roll model you are. You desreve your eternal rest. God Blass you.
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# David M 2010-02-24 06:30
...
'E was all that I 'ad in the way of a friend,
An' I've 'ad to find one new;
But I'd give my pay an' stripe for to get the beggar back,
Which it's just too late to do.

So it's knock out your pipes an' follow me!
An' it's finish off your swipes an' follow me!
Oh, 'ark to the fifes a-crawlin'!
Follow me -- follow me 'ome!

Take 'im away! 'E's gone where the best men go.
Take 'im away! An' the gun-wheels turnin' slow.
Take 'im away! There's more from the place 'e come.
Take 'im away, with the limber an' the drum.

For it's "Three rounds blank" an' follow me,
An' it's "Thirteen rank" an' follow me;
Oh, passin' the love o' women,
Follow me -- follow me 'ome!
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# Larry Ferguson 2010-02-24 06:32
If our country had just a couple dozen Robert Howards, I believe most all our problems would be solved.

Rest in Peace, Dear Warrior.
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# William Howard 2010-02-24 06:34
I am proud to just bear the name of such a great American Hero! I only hope that somehow we are related by blood, if only a drop, I would be very honored! William Howard
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# Terrence Collins 2010-02-24 06:38
De Oppresso Liber Colonel
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# William Howard 2010-02-24 06:41
I only hope that somehow Col. Robert L. Howard and I are related by blood, if it is only one drop I would be greatly honored and proud! William Howard former 113th INTC GP, 5th Army HQ.
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# Ned Lewis 2010-02-24 06:42
It is to men and women such as Colonel Howard, to my father (WWII), my brother (Vietnam) and my son (Gsgt.USMC,acti ve) that we all owe our freedom and the magnificence of these great United States of America.
Thank you
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# Patrick Nisley 2010-02-24 06:43
Fair winds and following seas PATRIOT. God bless and hold you close.
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# Tom Smith 2010-02-24 06:50
It's too bad the 535 slugs in our Senate and House of Representatives don't have even an once of courage and a moral compass as Colonel Howard had. RIP
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# Danny McKinney 2010-02-24 06:56
May God Bless his soul and may he spend eternity with God.
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# Michael Lynch 2010-02-24 07:01
I for one have always regarded those who stand vigilant in the night and defend us day in and day out so we can sleep peacefully at night our heros. It is because of great men like Robert that put their life on the line for their fellow soldiers and us that make me very proud to be an American. Sleep peacefully gentle warrior...I will see you in Valhalla.
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# Steve Butcher 2010-02-24 07:03
Thanks Bob, for the strength, the memories, the example of being true in the toughest of times. Gary Owen.
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# Anthony Alfaro 2010-02-24 07:05
Col. Howard
As a Vietnam vet, with honor and pride, I stand at attention and salute you.
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# Jeff Stanley 2010-02-24 07:20
I imagine because Col. Howard remained anonymous outside of the military community. It's no wonder that our country and culture has lost its way. We recognize celebrities who "play heroes on TV," while the real heroes in our midst remain unknown. Men and women who gave, and who are giving, so much on our behalf don't want to be "stars." But please be so kind as to accept this one civilian's salute. R.I.P., sir.
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# Frank 2010-02-24 07:29
An exemplary soldier in every way!
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# Derek Weaver 2010-02-24 07:34
Many years ago in Ranger School CPT Howard was our RI and he was incredible. His grit and determination had a positve impact on all of us. CPT Howard's affected so many during his distinguished career of service to the Nation. Trully a hero
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# Jim Hogue 2010-02-24 07:39
ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.
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# James G. Edwards 2010-02-24 07:40
I wll lift up Col Howard's famil;y in my prayers. Thank you sir for you dedication far above the call of Duty. You were a true American and a Soldier's Soldier. I salute your memory. I wish I had met you but I did serve with you and that make sme proud. America is safer because of your sacrifice. God Bless!!!!!
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# Thomas Tencza 2010-02-24 07:44
I spent 2.5 years in Nam . Would have liked to have met this man . Fought a long side him maybe (don't know if i could have kept up). He certainly took a beating in a short period of time from his medal awards . No PTSD ? with 14 purple hearts & 5 yr's in Nam . Lord this man has earned his rest . This Great American with little fan fare did his job well . SALUTE
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# LTCRet 2010-02-24 07:48
COL Howard was my first Battalion Commander. There were none better. If a person was not taking care of his soldiers may God have mercy on their soles as COL Howard would not. He led from the from the front. Rest in Peace Sir. Rest in Peace
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# Jeff Mellinger 2010-02-24 07:48
What a man! What a Patriot! Its a sad day for America. Its a happy day for Col. Howard, the war is over and he has gone home.
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# Kristin 2010-02-24 07:51
I love to hear and read about the stories of heroes. Have any books been written by or about Col. Howard? Our children need to hear about his patriotism, dedication, and the qualities of an American hero. May God continue to bless our troops and our country by remembering this awesome soldier and may we all try to live by his example.
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# Larry Letzer Sr. 2010-02-24 07:58
Rest in peace brother soldier.
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# APACHE 2010-02-24 07:59
Sir your name and deeds will pass the lips of my sons , my sons sons and their sons, rest in peace great warrior
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# Brad 2010-02-24 08:01
Few people ever rise to the level of their potential. Col. Howard leaves a legacy of outstanding service that will set the bar high for future generations. Thank you for your service and your example for those that follow in your foot steps.
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# Liam 2010-02-24 08:04
I thank you for your service and my freedom.
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# G Lincoln 2010-02-24 08:05
Colonel Howard, May you walk in the Elysian fields in peace for eternity. God bless you and thank you for defending all of us.
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# pete 2010-02-24 08:10
Godspeed Colonel Howard...you, unlike so many in our country today, have truely earned the title "American Hero". Rest comfortably in the arms of the Lord...
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# Robert Bischke 2010-02-24 08:12
What an incredible contribution to our militray, and what a greaat example for us to share. I would have liked to have known him, but our paths did not cross. I hope will can do so later. God Bless You Colonel, you family and the USA.
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# Jeff 2010-02-24 08:20
What a crazy world it is in which a Nation will mourn (ad nauseum) a popstar who died of a drug overdose whereas Col (Ret) Howard, who exemplifies the finest of our sons, will be only a footnote at best on the nightly news. It's a disgrace. His name should be ever on our lips and his soul in our hearts. God bless you, sir!
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# Boomer32 2010-02-24 08:21
When "Hero" is mentioned so loosly now adays, it is trully emotiona to see and read about one in person. I never had the chance to meet him, but have met a couple like him. As far as I'm concerned, when someone looks up the word "Hero" in Websters, his picture should be the one right beside that word. To his family and friends, my heartfelt condolences.
22 year, 9 month, 6 day, 16 hour and 49 minute USAF Vet.
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# P. Beck 2010-02-24 08:26
I had the privilege of going through the SFQC (7-80) when COL. Howard was the commandant at Camp McKall.
He was an inspiration. SF students looked at him and said to themselves, "I want to be like that guy."

Look and mark ye well. We shall not see his like again.
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# Kenny Komodo 2010-02-24 08:34
Fair winds and following seas.
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# Paul Stegeman 2010-02-24 08:35
Everyone's heard of Audie Murphy. It is a shame that we did not hear about Col. Howard until now. What a great man!

Paul
US Navy Vietnam Jan 1967 - Oct 1968
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# TJ 2010-02-24 08:37
Col. Howard... may all of us that call ourselves "American" remember to "earn this! You certainly have, and not just by your actions in war, but also those in peacetime.
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# frank m hudak 2010-02-24 08:39
rest in peace brother,GOD be with you,we love you.
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# Salt5792 2010-02-24 08:41
Sleep well Colonel Howard. We owe you.
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# Pencil Neck 2010-02-24 08:44
Mike, do you remember in Phase I, when we were young studs and he was a Major, how he used to run our richards into the dirt with ruck sacks on? He certainly was a man amoung men. I ran into him in Germany many years later and spent some time talking about Camp Mackall over a Budvar. Those were the days. I was/am so inspired by that man.
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# Ron 2010-02-24 08:45
Our country and this world are better places because of Men like you. No doubt, even Heaven is a better and even safer place now that you are serving your Lord.
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# Grateful & humble 2010-02-24 08:46
Words like gallantry, honor, and distinguished service only describe the tip of the giant iceberg that was the dedication & sacrifice that you gave this grateful nation. Thank you sir, for standing watch in the dark nights so that fellow citizens like me could sleep peacefully. The angels are rejoicing to have Colonel Howard join their ranks. RIP.
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# Coldwarrior57 2010-02-24 08:47
Gods speed Sir.
I read what he did and ask myself , have I served my county.
Not like he did.

I am sure Valhalla is party central.


TAPS

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
God keep.
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.

Rest now Sir, your duty is done. Pass the baton to the next generation you trained so well.

Thank you for your service.

A humbled veteran.
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# J.Gray 2010-02-24 08:47
You were an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace brother
RANGERS LEAD THE WAY
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# Don Reithlingshoefer 2010-02-24 08:47
Col. Howard exemplified and far exceeded the Special Forces mantra "Anything, Anytime, Anyplace" My prayers to your family and friends. Rest in peace
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# Tom Mochen 2010-02-24 08:51
Bob Howard: The very best that ever served. He is a legend in the SpecOps family. God Rest His Soul.
SSGT T. Mochen
Door Gunner
20th SOS/MACV-SOG
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# Victoria Batey 2010-02-24 08:54
Thank you everyone for you kind words. Col. Howard is my grandfather and would be humbled by all of this.
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# me 2010-02-24 08:59
It is men like this who make the men around them better. They lead from in front and make lesser men try harder out of admiration and respect.
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# John in San Diego 2010-02-24 09:01
In contrast to all those who say you can support the troops but discredit their mission, or denigrate their commander in chief for political capital, I offer that Col. Howard and the millions he heroically served with, finally get their due gratitude of being called winners. The Vietnam conflict was a battle of the cold war, fighting both the Chinese and Soviets by proxy, the latter's contributions to the North in resources just now being revealed in scope, and it was lack of those very resources which caused their collapse a few years after their support for North Vietnam ended in 1979. We won the cold war and didn't give up an inch of ground in Southeast Asia we stood fast upon. To call the conflict Col. Howard contributed his sacrifice to a mistake would mean regretting we emerged victorious over the totalitarian system of the USSR. Rest in peace, Col Howard.
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# RBF 2010-02-24 09:07
Great men lead by example and by looking at the life this man led he is truly among the greatest. Rest in peace brave soul knowing that you have inspired thousands to live with greater expectations.
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# Steve Edmonson 2010-02-24 09:09
Many sincere Thanks for your courage and Patriotism.

Steve
USAF
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# William Beasely Viet Nam 69-70 2010-02-24 09:10
Rest in Peace Col. you deserve it.
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# Capt R USN 2010-02-24 09:18
Though we never served together, Sir, I hope to be honored to stand with you when my time comes. See you at colors.
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# Ranger Gay 2010-02-24 09:24
COL Howard was my first company commander in the 2nd Ranger BN. He then went to the Ranger School as an instructor where I had him as an RI on my first patrol (he flunked me). The last time I saw him was at phase 1 of the SFQC. I had killed an owl and ate it and some goofy SSGT wanted to kick me out of the course. I went to see MAJ Howard and explained the situation to him, he told me not to worry about it and go back to class. Never heard another word about it except that they changed the safety briefing prior to the survival exercise to warn people not to kill owls, hawks and other endangered species. He was well loved and respected by all and was a soldier’s soldier. Guys like him don’t come around often and when they do it is up to us to tell his story so our kids and grandkids will know that heroes do exist in real life.
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# Rjulio 2010-02-24 09:28
There are many heroes from all our past wars slowly passing. Col Howard is just the latest. But he was a hero's hero. Those of us who are still here must insure that his acts of valor are not forgotten.

Semper Fi from an old Marine.
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# Sonny Splawn 2010-02-24 09:30
Rest In Peace,SIR!!!! ALL THE WAY,SIR !! AIRBORNE !!!!!!!!
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# Mary 2010-02-24 09:30
Thank you for your dedication, sacrifice and 100% loyalty to America Col. Howard.
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# Amazed 2010-02-24 09:31
the Devil just tapped out. Thank you for your service. You truly are one of a kind.
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# Domenic 2010-02-24 09:32
These are the stories that should make front page news, not worthless baloney about celebrities who make way too much money and rail against their own country.
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# Keith A. Verble 2010-02-24 09:40
Colonel Howard, report immediately to Heaven and take command of the Pearly Gates Guardpost.
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# Jim Foster 2010-02-24 09:42
I was fortunate enough to serve with Colonel Howard during the formation of the 2nd Ranger Battalion in 1974 and 1975. I can say with no reservation that as brave and hard charging of a man as he was, his first thoughts in any situation were always for his troops. The chiseled look on his face disguised his true persona to people who were not fortunate enough to know him. Make no mistake he was a highly trained and capable Special Ops soldier which should not be in doubt to anyone, but what is not said often enough is what a kind, humble and unselfish man that he was. Colonel Howard related to the lowest enlisted troops just as he did to a General. All soldiers were equal in his book. We have lost a true American Treasure and really good man. God be with him and his family. Airborne Sir!
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# Gilbert J Sticka 2010-02-24 09:44
Thank you SIR! I will always be indebted to you, Resting in Peace just does not seem right. Rest in Battle seems more fitting.
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# Neil 2010-02-24 09:53
Colnoel Howard is the type of man who we need to start looking up to in our society! A true hero!!! The media sends us fake heroes every day. Don't forget what is important in life and what is not.
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# BHale 2010-02-24 09:55
...and to think that people with silver and gold teeth, that talk about their women as 'bitches', and glorify gangster life and drug abuse are lifted up. Thank you so much for reminding us to whom we really owe our gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy.
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# George Foster 2010-02-24 09:57
I never served in the military but I recognize the tremendous sacrifices our soldiers make to keep us all safe. I want to express my gratitude and admiration for Colonel Howard and all he gave for the USA. And I want to express my condolences to his family in their time of mourning. Please take care.
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# Eric in Sacramento 2010-02-24 09:59
Every day I try hard to do everything right as an example to my family, one that I hope they take with them into adulthood. I will continue to do so until the day I die. In the back of my mind, though, I know that a) the opportunity to do so exists only because of fighting men like Colonel Howard and others in the U.S. military, and b) all the right I do in my life won't hold a candle to what our real American heroes do. I, and men just like me, are small in comparison to these giants of character and fortitude. I will forever be indebted to Colonel Howard and every man and woman that fights for my freedom with no questions asked. I can never possibly pay this debt in full; the appreciation instilled in my family is my further attempt to right this debt. Thank you, Colonel Howard, and every member of the U.S. military, past, present, and future.
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# Terry W Stults 2010-02-24 10:00
I also had the privilege to have Col Howard as my company comander in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. There was none better. What I learned there has been a guide all my like. Take care Sir.
Ranger "Doc" Stults
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# Steve48 2010-02-24 10:01
The words hero are truly overused in this society but this man is the standard. May you rest in Peace old soldier as you no longer need the mantle of warrior, You earned the respect of all men.
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# J. Garrison, USN 1981-1989 2010-02-24 10:02
Most people are unaware of the harrowing ordeals Bob Howard willingly and repeatedly endured during his time with MACV/SOG in Vietnam. For those who are interested in learning more about Bob and the incredible warriors of SOG, read "SOG" by John Plaster. Their contributions often could not be mentioned in the rare commendations they received. From an ex-Navy warrior, I salute you, Bob. Though I never knew you personally, I consider you a close friend. May you rest in peace.
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# Kent J. Artigues 2010-02-24 10:03
I am free today because of men like Col. Howard. May his soul rest in peace with Our Lord.
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# perrygee 2010-02-24 10:03
What a brave and caring human being. All should read his biography. It always makes me feel so small that I never saw combat when I read about someone who contributed so much to our and the world's freedom from tyranny. i know that God is welcoming this man with open arms.
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# Chris Jaskiewicz 2010-02-24 10:06
God bless Col. Howard, his family, and all of the sevice members who fight for my freedom in America.
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# Denver 2010-02-24 10:06
I am absolutely in awe of our brave and dedicated American Soldiers. My heart goes out to all of them. Colonel Howard it would have been an extreme honor to have met you. Thanks just does not seem enough. Time to rest brave soldier because your work here is done. May God bless you and your family who must be very, very poud of you. - A very thankful American citizen...
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# G.Benoit 2010-02-24 10:16
It's so sad to see a real hero die.But,the saddest part is that our society will only mention his dead briefly.Yet,whe n some worthless child molester or some other menace to society dies it stays on our TV screens and magazines in what seems like forever.Colonel Howard was a true hero who should never be forgotten and all of the other true hero's like him. May Colonel Howard and all those like him rest in god's arms forever.
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# Ted Chancey 2010-02-24 10:17
What a story, very touching to read the other vets words on this special warrior.
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# James Davis 2010-02-24 10:24
I also first met (then Major) Robert Howard when he was the camp commander at Camp MacKall when I was there
(class 7/81) for phase one SF training. I was 20 years old and remember him running circles around our formation at
a time when he would have be more than twice my age. (hit it!!)
Perhaps owing to his beginning his carreer as an enlisted man, his carriage was entirely different from most officers I had ever met.
When I ran afoul of the requirements at one point, he listened to my explanation and fairly let me have a chance to redeem myself.
and I still feel the sting of once having "let him down" in my own estimation. though it's been almost 30 years.
Since those days, he has been my personal hero. I had hoped to visit him again one day, but have now missed the chance.
He was a magnificent man and a humble Hero. "I shall not look upon his like again."
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# C. John Hebert 2010-02-24 10:25
"All the way" buddy, and thankyou
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# De oppresso liber 2010-02-24 10:25
Almighty GOD, Who art the Author of liberty and the Champion of the oppressed, hear our prayer.

We, the men of Special Forces, acknowledge our dependence upon Thee in the preservation of human freedom.

Go with us as we seek to defend the defenseless and to free the enslaved.

May we ever remember that our nation, whose motto is "In God We Trust", expects that we shall acquit ourselves with honor, that we may never bring shame upon our faith, our families, or our fellow men.

Grant us wisdom from Thy mind, courage from Thine heart, strength from Thine arm, and protection by Thine hand.

It is for Thee that we do battle, and to Thee belongs the victor's crown.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. AMEN
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# lamar Jackson 2010-02-24 10:30
May Colonel Howard and all true heroes like him rest forever in the arms of God.
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# Jake Riely 2010-02-24 10:34
Sir, a smiple thanks is not fitting for all you have done, but sadly its all I have Thank you sir for giving me and others the chance to raise our family in the greastest nation in the world. My dad severed with you in NAM. He always told us about you. My dad was honored to serve with you, GOD rest, you are a true hero. THANKS..
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# Jamison Reynolds 2010-02-24 10:37
RIP Col. Howard and God Bless another Airborne Angel. DE OPPRESSO LIBER
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# James Swearengin 2010-02-24 10:49
Thank you for your service, your sacrifice and may none of this nation's heroes ever be forgotten. All the way sir!
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# Roy Davis 2010-02-24 10:49
COL (then CPT) Howard was one of my instructors in the mountain phase of Ranger School back in the 70's. He was literally a giant of a man. Unflinching, unyielding, but absolutely fair. A true inspiratiopn for all soldiers and one of our great heroes. I am convinced that he does in death what he always did in life: watch over us. God bless you Sir.

De Oppresso Liber
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# M. Report 2010-02-24 10:52
Hail, and Farewell.
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# Dale Lindley SW NM Patriot Guard Riders - Alamogordo, NM 2010-02-24 10:55
We salute Col. Howard as well as all those who have given "all". God Bless Col. Howard and his family. Thank you Sir.
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# Quinn Waller 2010-02-24 10:55
Did not know him, but sounds like a man of iron, Wish we could clone a man like this. Thanks for your service. God rest.
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# Tom Callahan 2010-02-24 11:05
Put silver wings

Upon their chests

These Our Men

America's Best

1000 men

They'll test one day

But only three

Win the Green Beret
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# Stephen Rittenberg, M.D. 2010-02-24 11:06
Thank you Michael, for bringing this great man to our attention. Also, thanks to all the veterans who knew him and commented so movingly. It is shocking that our celebrity culture fawns over pigmies when men of Colonel Howard's stature move among us. May his warrior spirit infuse our culture with backbone to withstand the assaults from our enemies, within and without.
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# CW4 Dennis retired 2010-02-24 11:07
From one VN Vet to another, I am proud of COL Howards accomplishments . Not only is it very difficult to complete the Special Forces / Ranger training, but to served 5 tours in Vietnam, that amazed me. I served one tour in Vietnam (68-69) and one tour in Iraq (05-06), over my 40 year career in the army, and never had it half as bad as what COL Howard. I, like many others, believe our true hero's are hidden from sociality. We don't worship them, but we honor them. Good job, soldier! Your family, your nation and the US Army are better because of you!
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# Willis Helms 2010-02-24 11:09
Thank you Sir for your courage, character, integrity, and for setting an example for all of us to follow, with humility, honor and true patriotism. These and many other qualities that you possessed is what our country needs more of, TRUE LEADERS who will stand up and be counted. Our best wishes goes out to his family. Oh how proud you can be of this great man, just as all of us Americians should be. May God bless you all in a very special way.
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# PSWACON 2010-02-24 11:11
I believe Col. Howard was talked about in a book I read called "SOG". When I saw this report I teared up. It is with a heavy heart that I Thank God, and his family, for giving this country the gift of a Col. Howard. May he Rest in peace now, after allowing us to Live in peace all these years. Thank you sir!
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# Donald Brazeald 1stSgt USMC ret 2010-02-24 11:21
I just wanted to comment on the passing of Col Howard. Many young folks in America need to know his story. We have been blessed to have had a Warrior of his caliber in the service of our great nation. Fiddelers Green just got a litter greener with his command presence and lead from the front style. Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Coast Guardmen of present must keep the spririt of this man alive for decaded to come.

Semper Fi and Gung Ho, RIP Col Howard
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# Sid James 2010-02-24 11:22
My dear God , what a great American this man was . I fill so worthless after learning about this True American Heroe and think about the little that I have done for my dear beloved country . Rest In Peace Dear Sir and Thank You from the bottom of my heart for protecting my country , family and my freedom . God Bless You .
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# Old Chief Warrant Officer 2010-02-24 11:27
Col Howard provides a rare and powerful example of what selflessness and raw courage actually are. In an age where hollywood music and movie personalities are thought of as somehow heroic, he lived a life that truly was that and more. As a student of history, for me he represented a living piece of it and as a Soldier, I morn his passing, but I will celebrate that we had him for a while to show us what we should all try to be. My sadness is that in our nations decrepit state, he will hardly be mentioned in the headlines and few will remember him. For my part, my children and I will read about Col Howard's example to us.
I can't help but think, when he was welcomed into the arms of the Lord, the other angels stood in awe. Those of us left behind, most assuredly do.
God Bless and keep you.
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# Banzai 2010-02-24 11:30
If you study the history of SF in Vietnam, then you can only begin to understand what these Men did not only for their country, but for the freedom loving peoples of SE Asia. I am in absolute awe of Col Howard and call on all others to carry on his story and emulate his example to their utmost. Words cannot describe his valor and strength.
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# bryam frick 2010-02-24 11:32
From one infantry man to another, I wish you a safe journey on your way to be with your brothers. Thank you for your service. Semper Fi
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# Dave Philpott 2010-02-24 11:32
I also first learned about Bob Howard in John Plaster's riveting "SOG - The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam". This great soldier was admired and revered by many a hero. I was able to meet many MoH recipients about ten years ago. As perfect an afternoon that it was, I was disappointed I had missed meeting the great Bob Howard. I have never served - but I recognize that my freedom to live in peace comes from the combined contributions of men just like him. Rest in peace.
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# Se la Guerre 2010-02-24 11:33
God will keep him on a shelf in a case that says-"In case of war, break glass." He has earned his peace and deserves heartfelt thanks from every American that enjoys the freedom he protected.
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# Bill Hancock 2010-02-24 11:42
Thank you for keeping my family and my nation safe. Rest well.
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# Chris L. Poteat 2010-02-24 11:46
Pop smoke and hold the perimetier brother, To Tall is bringing more of us in every day.
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# William Henry 2010-02-24 11:46
Thank you so very much for your service, you sir are a rare breed. From the bottom of my heart thank you.
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# rbays 2010-02-24 11:47
My father served in the 45th Division, 179th INFANTRY IN WWII. I am honored that brave men like Col. Howard defend our country. Rest in Peace
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# William Henry 2010-02-24 11:48
Thank you for everything you are of a rare breed.
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# Ron Tow 2010-02-24 11:56
I spent some time in the same outfits. I was in the 3rd Rangers, 5th group Special Forces and 12 years in Delta Force. I want to thank you and sure wish I had met you. You was and still are one great American. Rest in peace, you earned it.
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# Cecil Johnson 2010-02-24 11:59
Thank you Col Howard.
As the 4th Armd Div moto said, "DEEDS ALONE"
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# Jim Adams 2010-02-24 12:06
Thank you Col. Howard for your dedication, bravery and for serving this nation. You are a fine example of what it means to be a Patriot. And also to all the men and women who fought along side him in Vietnam and all the conflicts American has been involved in, thanks!

The Freedom Ring!
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# Mario Ortega, Sr 2010-02-24 12:07
One last jump Col Howard, Sir. -
...a vision of Col. Howards last mission.

You've been recalled by God, the Father to LZ Heavens Gate. Traveling lite. There you'll leave your `chute, no need to repack. You're expected so orders are not necessary. You've earned a new set of jump wings. Some of your old team are expecting you, I'm sure. Tho' time is immaterial, I expect you'll doubletime it. No ETS from this post soldier! Welcome to your new permanent duty station SOLDIER!

Lord,Thank him for for me for his service and dedication. I missed my opportunity here on Earth.
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# James Davis 2010-02-24 12:25
"SOG: The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam" by John Plaster
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# Tony Seegers 2010-02-24 12:29
I just read about Col. Howard today. I never heard of him until I read that he had been laid to rest at Arlington today. It doesn't surprise me a man of this stature, a dedicated Special Forces Operator, would not have been in the limelight. God Bless this man and his family. He epitomizes what it means to be a true American and a true man.

Thank you sir for your service and may the Good Lord now keep you.
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# Rob Bordwell 2010-02-24 12:32
As a soldier I find myself in awe to know there are/were such in our ranks as COL Howard. After reading about his actions during his time in the Army I find myself humbled by the paltry 12 months I spent in Iraq. I can only hope that his passing generates the media coverage that it deserves. Well done, Sir. Your deployment is ended and its time to enjoy your time in the land of the big PX. Hooah!
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# AK 2010-02-24 12:41
...because once you peel away the scar and sludge, you find men like him - they are what this country is made of.

RIP from an Air Force cold warrior....
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# James 2010-02-24 12:44
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
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# Tim Flanigan 2010-02-24 12:50
Thank you, Colonel, for your great example. May God bless you and your family.
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# John Gorman 2010-02-24 13:14
It gives me pride just to say his name. It is a privilege to include him in my prayers. Gods speed Americas son.
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# Robert Shearer 2010-02-24 13:27
The soldiers lament, "for the good have all gone before us and only the evil are here" rings no truer than in the here and now. Go meet your God, he is brother who also wears wings.
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# Doc Ollie 2010-02-24 13:29
I had the honor to serve under MAJOR Howard as a young buck sergeant instructor at Camp MacKall, NC @ 30 years ago. In those days, it was called Phase I of the SFQC. I recall that even during 'down time' between class rotations of students to our camp from Ft Bragg, "Bad Bob Howard" would put on his 70lb rucksack and go out and ruck 6-8 miles along the sandy roads and trails. He did this to serve as an example to us, his cadre, and to be ready for the SF candidates when they arrived for a month of basic special operations training. It was an honor and a privilege to have such man in command. US Army Special Forces has lost a legend and the Spec Ops community in general have lost a source of inspiration. De Opressor Liber CPT Ron Oliver, Retired
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# NavyDad 2010-02-24 13:30
"For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain." (Bhagavad Gita 2.20) Certain souls are special. Col. Howard was certainly one of them. May his family take solace in that fact and know that he will hold a place for them.
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# Colonel Ret. Craig L. Carlson 2010-02-24 14:07
America, this is a real hero, not an actor, not a ball player or Olympic medal winner. This is the kind of American that allows all of us to enjoy the freedoms we have. This is a man that laid it all on the line for our country. I pray we have thousands of young Americans that want to be what Colonel Howard was... a true patriot. I pray for his family, friends, and all who respect this great American and hope they are comforted by the memory of the life this man lived. I mourn the loss of a hero and celebrate the life he lived.
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# MT JOE 2010-02-24 14:26
What does one say? I am Humbled just reading about him. I will see you when I get there Bob.
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# David 2010-02-24 15:01
Colonel Howard, For a soldier, your service perfectly exemplified the Marine's motto.
Semper Fidelis -- Always Faithful
Rest in peace, Sir.
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# SF Medic 2010-02-24 15:26
De Oppresso Liber Boss, thanks for the inspiration and leadership. You are sorely missed in a world with too few heroes.
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# McCoin 2010-02-24 15:31
NO GREATER LOVE
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# K. Hill 2010-02-24 15:48
I had the priviledge to work with Colonel Howard for a few years here in San Antonio. He is without a doubt the most humble man I have ever known. Before I went to Afghanistan we sat down and talked for a few hours about life and things that happen in a theater of war. I cherish that time. I had a few opportunities to drive the Colonel to official functions at Brooke Army Medical Center. He would look at the guest list and tell me stories of all of the Field and General Grade Officers that were to be in attendance. He had most of them as students over the years. When he met children he would put out his hand and talk to them just as if they were the most important person in his life. My son still talks about the day he met Bob. I will greatly miss you colonel Howard. There are some out there who cannot come to grips with the fact that you are gone from your earthly bonds, put in a word for them, that they might find peace.
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# Pedro J 2010-02-24 17:44
Bob Howard, thank you for your unequaled courage and perserverance in the numerous moments of truth that so few would ever survive. You have truly set the example for us to follow. Though your time in this life has come to an end, the crucial lessons you handed down to us are alive and well in the fight, both liberating the oppressed and seeing us through unforgiving odds. TTWDTOML
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# Tom Jones 2010-02-24 18:05
Colonel (R) Robert L. Howard epitomizes what it means to be a man, a soldier and a commander. May he rest in peace at his new posting. Thank you Colonel. You humble us. May God hold you and your family always in His loving hands. Thank you also to those posting here who knew of, or served with him for your service as well. It is right and fitting that a warrior should be honored by other warriors. He may be gone but he most certainly will NOT be forgotten.
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# sn8ketr 2010-02-24 18:13
He was the commandant of Phase 1 when i went through the course. I ran into him again many years later in San Antonio. We talked about the time in the course of such things as "The Trail of Wowe" and "Hunny bun Hill". I am sure he has St. Peter and other up early and doing PT every morning in Heaven. He was my one and only hero. A true Man's man. RIP RLTW
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# -anon- 2010-02-24 18:29
Col. Howard,
In exchange for your many years of selfless service and giving to protect this great land of ours, I can only provide you with my deepest appreciation and most sincere and humble thanks. I can only hope that your family takes great pride and finds a sense of peace in knowing that so many other Americans like me look up to you in awe, respect, admiration, and appreciation. Thank you for your service, your bravery, and your patriotism, Colonel. You are and always will be a real American hero. May God bless you and yours.
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# Maj Ret Gary Richmond 2010-02-24 18:34
Col. Howard was totally dedicated to America, the Army, and its soldiers. I had the privilege and honor of serving under him when he was a Captain and when he was a Major. His attitude, personal example, and selfless service were always inspirational, and set a standard that was beyond compare. America has lost a true hero.
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# David Pendergrass, Maj Ret 2010-02-24 19:13
Truly, we have a clear definition of two concepts: hero and service to country. Col Howard is a hero's hero, there can be no mistaking that. A hundred years from now, he will still be the gold standard for the best of the best. I never had the chance to meet him, and I am poorer for it. Thank God for men such as this.
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# Judy 2010-02-24 22:44
Col. Howard was a hero long before any of these military actions. The mere fact that he was WILLING to lay down his life. I'm not worthy to speak his name, yet I know I am part of the country that he would have been willing to die for. Words do not adequately speak what the heart feels. God Bless Col. Howard and his family.
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# Janine 2010-02-24 23:13
It should give more such Men
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# George Brown 2010-02-24 23:28
Ranger On Sir-
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# john taylor 2010-02-24 23:49
I knew Bob Howard in Vietnam, and he was one of the very best.
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# E.M. Dannemiller II 2010-02-25 02:01
As Robert E. Lee intoned, Duty is the most sublime of words. COL Howard epitomized Duty. RIP old Friend. Join your comrades on the Other Side of The Wall. We weep that your star no longer lights our darkness.
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# Roy L. Cannon 2010-02-25 03:15
Service beyond the call of duty, many times over. Go easy into the night, Colonel Howard. Your place of honor is waiting.

Semper Fidelis from a Marine
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# Ed Allen 2010-02-25 04:27
Semper Fidelis Colonel. Please save a place for me Sir.
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# Cpt Jera Trog Anderson 2010-02-25 05:41
Mission Accomplished, Colonel. BZ and Welcome Home!!
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# Bob 2010-02-25 06:30
Colonel Howard embodied to the fullest what we who served took an oath to do-defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. If there was ever a man who should be used to describe a soldier, he is that man. His love for Duty, Honor, and Country ran so deep as to be almost unfathomable to most. This is a hero-quite the opposite of those whom the liberal media elevate to such status. I, and countless others, have been able to do our jobs, raise our families, enjoy our freedoms, because of the phenomenal job this man did keeping our country safe and free. A sincere and heartfelt "Thank you" seems so trivial in comparison to all he gave, but I offer it, along with my sympathy and prayers, to his family. Colonel Howard, I stand and salute you sir!
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# Navy SAR 2010-02-25 06:48
For your lifetime of service to a grateful nation.

Rest in Peace Soldier.....
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# Jeff Stanley 2010-02-25 08:33
...for recommending "SOG" by John Plaster. I am buying the book as soon as I post, having had the privilege of being close personal friends with a man who served in the Marine Corps attached to MACV/SOG in Vietnam, among other duties during his two tours. A man who, like Col. Howard was awarded a battlefield commission. And who earned two Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts during his service.
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# Terrence Snyder 2010-02-25 08:43
Thank you Col. Howard... You exemplify the very best of the best... You put others before yourself so many times... It is because of people like Col. Howard that American became a great nation... My ever-lasting gratitide sir... God bless you and your family...
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# CW 2010-02-25 09:22
There are heros and then there are "super" heros. Colonel Howard is indeed a real life superhero. Your destiny sir is to live in our hearts and minds forever.
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+1 # Steve Howard 2010-02-25 11:38
I am honored to be the brother of Colonel Robert Lewis Howard. He was my inspiration from the day of birth. He has always been my hero! He helped me with my homework, and taught me to be a soldier. It was the greatest honor to serve and to stand beside him in Vietnam. He was the most humble guy and loving guy that any little brother would love to have. I bid you farwell and I wish Robert Jr. the best of luck, and I will continue to move forward in the path that he set for me and all other Americans to follow. Farwell Robert, thank you for your loving memories. I will love you forever, and so will the American people.
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# STONEY 2010-02-25 11:58
Go Easy Brother
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# Bill Welborn 2010-02-26 06:04
Former paratrooper

God Bless you for your dedication and service to our great country, you were truly a hero in everyway, thank you for the courage and what you did to protect us as do all the men and women who serve in the armed forces. Airborne all the way.
Go high on that mountain and rest in peace for a job WELL DONE.
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# Old Marine 2010-02-27 13:00
Rest in peace

Semper Fi
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# Ron Wilson 2010-02-28 07:05
Since the 2nd WW, the general American public does not know or care what magnificent people we have in uniform. I am privledged to see our latest generation of warriors on a dailey basis. Col.Howard is one of the finest examples of many spearpoints in our arsenal. "Semper Fi.", & "All The Way."
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# Tony Ruiz 2010-03-02 04:19
He did it the right way all the way. Now, here was a man whose family we honor as well for helping put this man on this earth. No politics here, just honor for this epitome of America's real finest. He did this for us, he "took a bullet for us. Far beyond service, this soldier knew no honor greater than to honor his fellow man. we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. This standard.
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# Ed Klaus 2010-03-24 01:28
I served in the 2d Ranger Bn when then-CPT Howard was company commander of a different company. And when I went to Ranger School (Class 3-7T), he was our TAC officer. We almost lost two troops during the ceremonial "throwing the TAC officer into the Gulf" after the small boat ops training. He truly was an inspiration--I remember the entire class waiting outside the hall before graduation ceremonies, but CPT Howard wasn't there. Word went around that the reason he wasn't there yet was because he was "discussing" with the commandant the fact that he'd been passed over for promotion to MAJ. We were all so angry that we decided to boycott graduation--we were willing to give up our Tabs in protest. The only thing that convinced us otherwise was CPT Howard arriving and ordering us inside. He was a good man and the best of the best, and will truly be missed.
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# Todd Teeuwe 2010-07-25 17:08
Col Robert L Howard may you rest in Peace. Great job well done Sir! What a great American you are and you will never be forgotten.
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# Todd Teeuwe 2010-07-25 17:56
He carried a VC prisioner for six days because the prisioner said "everyone is trying too kill me". What a soldiers soldier. He cared for the common soldier so much and he obviously was not so popular with the not so decorated soldiers that picked all the other not so decorated soldiers for the highest promotions. He should have been a five star general with 36 years of service with the way this man took care of soldiers. RIP Col Howard
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