Wednesday, October 13, 2010


A short story - before the photo - While attending the Memorial Day Service in 2009 I took some photographs of some of the people who were attending the services.  I took a photograph of an elderly gentleman who I presumed was a  WWII Vet and filed the photo away in my files.

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
Robert Troudt


  1. What an amazing experience for you! Let’s not forget congratulations for the award winning photograph too.

  2. Well, old friend, the true-life continuation of this photo's story is as good as a novel. It's a winner! How wonderful for photographer and his subject to meet, tell stories, and become friends.

  3. I received this note from Robert's granddaughter:

    You were the photographer of my dear grandfather Robert Troudt the WW 2 vet. I just saw the blog you had of the mag. Pic. And the current pic. I just thought I would write you and tell you he is very sick. He is in hospital and they do not think he will make it out. I think it is wonderful what you have said about him. I love that you took wonderful photos of him. I know it meant alot to him to be in the mag. Thank you for making my grandfather so happy with your photos.
    God Bless,