Robert Mizwa was born April 3, 1947 in Oil City, Pennsylvania. He grew up there against the backdrop of the idyllic 1950s – but also in the shadow of the Cold War. When he went to college Bob enrolled in the ROTC, making him a 2nd Lieutenant and setting him up for two years of military service, which would include a one year tour in Vietnam. Bob served in a reserve battalion, but his strongest – and best – memories of Vietnam are from his time in the armored corps, where he served as a tank commander. It was their job to spearhead attacks and to support the infantry, all while operating in intense heat and monsoon conditions, and while under fire from RPGs and all manner of other weaponry. Bob experienced loss and the emotional range that all Vietnam veterans saw, and he came back to a country that was divided and trying to reconcile itself with this war and a decade that had polarized the nation. Bob returned to his small town, and he was spared the kind of negative homecoming that many Vietnam veterans received. Today he continues to be active in military matters, and he urges veterans both young and old to talk about their experiences and to find their peace. Robert Mizwa zoomed with Mr. Masters’ History 10 class in May 2022, along with musician Dianne Cameron, whose story can be found in the Community Members section of the Crestwood OHP – we thank the Veterans’ Breakfast Club for facilitating these interviews!
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