Spring ahead to the fall of 2009 - the magazine Our Iowa was soliciting photographs for their annual photography contest and one of the categories was "Iowa People". I went through my files and decided that the image I captured of a WWII Vet epitomized the service of Iowans - hence the People of Iowa. I live in Waterloo, Iowa among the history of the sacrifice of the Five Sullivan Brothers so the choice of a veteran was easy. My opinion was the photograph brought this service to life. The photograph was published in the April/May 2010 Issue of the Our Iowa Magazine as one of the finalists.
I entered the same photograph in this year's National Cattle Congress Photo Contest (Honorable mention). Last Saturday I received a call from a Carolyn Troudt, daughter-in-law of Robert Troudt, the veteran in the photograph. She wanted to know if I was the Robert Hill who took the picture of the Veteran who's photo was in the Our Iowa Magazine and in last month's Cattle Congress. I said that I was and she said there sure were a lot of Robert Hills in Waterloo, was glad she found me and wanted to thank me for honoring her father-in-law and told me that he wanted to meet me. Well, yesterday was that day.
Robert Troudt arrived with his daughter and daughter-in-law and he spent an hour and half sharing his WWII Stories - some of which his daughter's hadn't heard before. I know y'all have heard the phrase the "Pointy end of the spear" when the military moves into a campaign, well, Robert Troudt was the point. He went out ahead of his company as a scout, EOD Technician, sniper, and who knows what else. He told a story about how he shot a python that dropped on him from a tree - unfortunately he was in the middle of 70,000 enemy soldiers. He made it back to camp and told me that it took 6 villagers to bring the snake back. They made a billfold for him out of that snake. (Probably a lot of billfolds)!!
He's a true hero, modest, soft spoken, and I have no doubt that he was a badass in the jungle. He was a delight to visit with and here is the original photo and yesterday's photo.
|WWII Vet Robert Troudt|