Veteran of the Month – Robert Roberts

May 1, 2015

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Name: Robert E. Roberts

Place of Birth: Enterprise, Oregon

Date of Birth: November 6, 1947

Military Branch of Service: U.S. Navy Submarine Service

Enlisted, Commissioned, or Drafted?: Enlisted

Service Dates: May 23, 1967 – April 23, 1971

Highest Rank: Engineman Petty Officer, 2nd Class

Military Job: Ran and serviced diesel engines

Duties: Supervised, ran and performed maintenance on main propulsion Diesel engines aboard Submarine.

Unit, Division, Battalion, Group, Ship, etc.: USS Halfbeak (SS 352)

War, Operation, Conflict: Vietnam

Locations of Service: Homeported at New London/Groton, CT

Decorations: National Defense Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal (3), Navy Overseas Medal, Navy Sharpshooter Medal, Rifle and Pistol, Qualified in Submarine Warfare Dolphins Pin

Combat or service-related injuries: Loss of hearing in both ears, VA certified service related injury due to engine room noise.

Military Schools/Training: Boot camp in San Diego, California; Engineman A school in Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Chicago; Enlisted Submarine School, Groton, Connecticut; Requisites on board training on the USS Halfbeak (SS352)

Name of Post: Tomalonis Hall Post 84, American Legion, Simsbury, Connecticut

Family Info: Linda, wife of 43 years; Daughter Lisa (36); Son John (32); Granddaughters Kaylee (7), Willow (4), Rowan (2)

Community Activities: Past Commander (4 times), American Legion; Past Director, Talcott Mountain Music Festival, Simsbury; Past Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus,; Longtime joint organizer of Simsbury’s Memorial Day Parades and Veterans Day programs.

Occupation after military service: Started work as a lineman apprentice with Hartford Electric Light Co. 1 month after discharge from Navy. Worked way up to supervisory position with Connecticut Light and Power Co. in Hartford and Simsbury offices.

From Robert: “I have been fortunate to have a wonderful, supportive wife and we have raised both our children in our beautiful community of Simsbury. I am indeed honored to have served in one of the most elite divisions of the US Navy, that of the Submarine Service. I have served with men who became lifelong friends and my wife and I continue to go to reunions as time permits. My children are products of the wonderful Simsbury school system, one of the reasons we decided to settle in town. I retired from Connecticut Light and Power Co. in 2010, but continued work with them as a construction representative for 2 years after retirement. CL&P was a very good company to work for and I really lucked out after leaving the Navy. My wife is retiring from teaching at the end of this school year and we plan on traveling to see friends and family.”