Robert joined the Army in early 1942. Having suffered from polio as a young child, Robert entered into limited service, unable to see combat. Self-described as being “not much of a soldier,” Robert briefly served as a military interviewer at Fort Niagara in New York, and then was reassigned to Fort Oswego a short time later.
Robert, who says that he always knew he was meant to be a teacher, jumped into his next assignment with full force. In the Second Command School at Fort Oswego, Robert worked to teach illiterate and immigrant soldiers to read and write. Though he describes it as having been a difficult task, “We had to write all the books ourselves,” nothing could take away from the number of lives he helped to enrich and enlighten.