#VeteranOfTheDay Robert D. Hales


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Robert D. Hales. Robert —“Bob” to his friends—grew up on Long Island, and after marriage and graduating from the University of Utah, joined the U.S. Air Force to become a fighter pilot. He flew F-84 and F-100 jets for three and a half years in the strategic and tactical air commands, and was a member of the squadron’s precision firepower demonstration team.

Robert applied what he learned in his Air Force days to his life and in teaching his two sons. “Our unit motto—displayed on the side of our aircraft—was ‘Return with Honor,’” he said. “This motto was a constant reminder to us of our determination to return to our home base with honor only after having expended all of our efforts to successfully complete every aspect of our mission.”

After serving in the Air Force, Robert earned an MBA from Harvard and became a successful business executive for several major national and international companies. Through his life Robert served in volunteer church positions, and for the past 42 years had been a senior leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Robert exemplified his squadron motto throughout his life, and has returned with honor.

Robert passed away Sunday at age 85. We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.


Melissa Heintz

Melissa Heintz joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015 and currently works as the National Veterans Day Coordinator, National Veterans Outreach. She grew up on an Army base in Japan before her family relocated to Hawaii. She holds a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Spanish from Seattle University. Melissa has served as a public affairs specialist with Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In December 2015, Melissa commissioned in the Air National Guard where she serves as a public affairs officer with the 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard.


  1. Allen Lee Hahn    

    Thank you for honoring our Veterans for all that they have done to serve our great country.

  2. Jeffrey Lynn Jones    

    Thank you for honoring this Veteran. I honor him for his selfless acts of service throughout his life. He was an inspiration and guide for many.

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