At the age of 17 Pittsburgh native, Robert Waller was preparing to attend junior college.

He had dreams of playing professional basketball for a living, but his mother had something different in mind for his future.

During his junior year, she began secretly planning with her cousin, who was an Army recruiter, that Waller was going to enlist in the Army instead.

He was sent to Fort McClellan, Alabama for basic training then on to Fort Gordon, Alabama for advanced individual training as a wire installer (36K).

Next, went to Fort Bliss, Texas for his first duty station but soon after his arrival destiny took over.

He was then sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana where he would find himself sent many times throughout his 22-year career.

He spent a total of 16 years on active duty and another six years in the National Guard.

Waller was deployed with a Patriot unit from Kaiserslautern, Germany during Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars he was assigned to a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He was retired in 2013 from right here at Fort Polk and has made it his home.

He is actively involved in his community through his church, the American Legion and he is on the Jubilee Park Committee.