The Greatest Hero America Never Knew
Robert L. Howard from the Robert L. Howard Tribute Site.
A Milestone Monday Feature
"The name Robert Lewis Howard belongs beside George Washington, John Paul
Jones, Chesty Puller, Alvin York, and Audie Murphy, to name a few of
the greatest" -- David Feherty
His grandchildren knew him as a gentle gardener. Most Americans never knew him. As America sought to forget the Vietnam War, she also forgot the brave and noble service of men like Robert Howard. Only when another soldier entered his presence did his loved ones see him stiffen to the posture a great man assumes in the position of other great men.
With eight Purple Hearts, the Congressional Medal of Honor and the
Distinguished Service Cross and multiple Silver and Bronze Stars, Howard became the most decorated soldier in our nation's history. He even surpassed WWII hero Audie Murphy according to the records.
The year was 1956 when the young seventeen year-old from Opelika, Alabama first enlisted in the Army. He would serve for 36 years, retiring as a full Colonel in 1992. Serving with the Green Berets in Vietnam, he was wounded fourteen times during his combat time there.
He got to be in a couple of John Wayne movies, making a parachute jump in The Longest Day and playing an airborne instructor in The Green Berets.
His daughter Missy describes him in this manner: "He was a gardener, a gentle man with massive hands and a velvet voice
who worked on his roses and never once spoke of what he did in the war.
“He could make anything grow.” In that respect he was like so many of the heroes we grew up surrounded by.
The Greatest Hero America Never Knew [click to read]
The Robert L.Howard Tribute Site [click to read]