Bob Baumstark is the Buddy-to-Buddy Program’s July 2016 Volunteer of the Month! Bob trained into Buddy-to-Buddy in October 2014 and served as an at-large volunteer until recently. He is now assigned to the Detroit Light Guard Armory and is excited about building relationships with the soldiers there. Bob’s easygoing and big-hearted nature are sure to make him a trusted resource among the soldiers in that armory.
He was drawn to become a Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran due to his experience of not feeling accepted when he returned from Vietnam. He explains how he doesn’t want other service members and veterans to feel this way, and this motivates him to assist those who need it in whatever way he can. Since he’s been with the program, Bob has helped service members and veterans get connected to resources to address financial, housing, and employment issues. He recently represented the program at the Mission Continues Operation Motown Muster and the VA Golden Age Games in Detroit.
Bob served in the Army as an infantryman from December 1967 to September 1969 and was awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge, a Vietnam Service Medal, and a Vietnam Campaign Medal with a 60 device. After his time serving, Bob earned a B.A. in English and Spanish Education and, later, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, both from Eastern Michigan University. He then taught in the Wyandotte Public Schools for 32 years before retiring in 2004. During his time teaching, Bob coached high school football, baseball, and softball. After retiring from teaching, Bob went on to work for MEA Financial Services but has retired completely in recent years.
In addition to his participation in Buddy-to-Buddy, Bob is also a member of Vietnam Veterans of America and Disabled American Veterans. He has three children and eight grandchildren that he enjoys spending as much time with as possible. When he’s not volunteering or with his family, Bob enjoys working out, fishing, and reading.
Thank you for the assistance you provide to service members and veterans, Bob!