Vietnam war veteran honored this memorial day

NOW: Vietnam war veteran honored this memorial day


WALKERTON, Ind.-- ABC 57 is adding a new face to our Wall of Honor.

His name is Robert Budka and he is a Vietnam War veteran.

He fortunately survived his time in combat, and his sister reached out to ABC 57 to honor all veterans including those who have died in selfless sacrifice.

“Once a soldier, always a soldier," said Budka's sister, Alice Swihart.

That soldier is her younger brother, 72-year-old Robert Budka.

“They paid the price, so many of them. Soldiers should be honored. Anyone who graciously did something for the country," said Swihart.

From 1967 to 1968, Budka served in the u.s. army as part of the 101st cavalry air model unit. Swihart says, they were the longest two years of her life.

“We worried because we’re family folks, small town. We stuck to each other. With him gone it would just feel like you always miss him," said Swihart.

So as an added incentive, she struck a deal with her brother.

“If he came home safe to us, that my son would be named after him. He thought that was so great. He was bound, determined to come home and get that award," said Swihart.

She kept her end of the deal when Budka finally came home, but she also remembers their friends who didn’t get that chance.

“After Turkey Hill was bombed he found out bill got killed. That was very hard on him," remembered Swihart.

So this memorial day, she wants to remind everyone of not just her brother, but the countless men and women who gave their lives in service.

“He said we’re there for them. Standing for where they cant be and for the family our heart goes out all to them. My sons are here. I got my grand babies, that’s our celebration. Just to be able to say hello to each other and we love you. That’s an important step that i can hear his voice," said Swihart.

If you have a loved one or a friend you want to include on our Wall of Honor, click on our news tab. 

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