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Veteran of the Week – Dave Robels

Beaufort’s Dave Robels, 82, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Elizabeth, N.J. in 1958. After boot camp at Parris Island and infantry training, he was assigned to a unit at Camp Lejeune from which he deployed twice each to Europe and the Caribbean. His next assignment was in security at Naval Station Key West. Assigned back to units at Lejeune, he again deployed to the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

He returned to Drill Instructor school at Parris Island followed by duty in Vietnam near Chu Lai where he was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star for valor and the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal before being medevacked to Beaufort Naval Hospital for recovery. After attending the Defense Language Institute in DC we went back to Vietnam for another tour near the DMZ. Once again he was wounded (second Purple Heart) and medevacked to Beaufort.After recovering, he was assigned to special duties involving anti-terrorism. His follow-on assignment was to Lejeune with deployments to Panama, South America, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

Next was duty in Iwakuni, Japan before returning to PI as a Drill Instructor, DI trainer and First Sergeant. He next served with an artillery unit in Okinawa, and then he was selected for the Army Sergeant Major Academy at Fort Lewis, Texas.

Next he was assigned to a squadron at MCAS Beaufort with which he made many overseas deployments. In 1984 he returned to PI as a Battalion Sergeant Major. His final normal assignment was to a unit at MCAS El Toro, Calif., from which he also made numerous deployments. He retired in 1988 as a Sergeant Major with 30 years of service. With the advent of Desert Shield/Storm he was recalled to active duty for nearly two years serving in the Middle East, Philippines and Okinawa. He’s called Beaufort his home over most of these years.

Compiled by John Chubb, American Legion Post 9. For nominations, contact jechubb1@gmail.com.

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