Hometown Heroes - Robert Foster

Westlake native served in Vietnam
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 3:57 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A Westlake native was part of the evacuation of American forces in the waning days of the Vietnam War. Robert Foster turned that moment into a career with the U.S. Marines. At a time when a lot of young men were avoiding the draft, the then 19-year-old Foster signed up to be a Marine. In 1971 and 72, his unit helped evacuate U.S. and allied forces from the Quang Tri province of Vietnam.

“I was an artillery scout observer,” recalled Foster. “So I was way up forward of the front lines, I guess you would call it. I had to call in some artillery, just to block them from overrunning. It was a challenging time.”

Foster’s father was a veteran of World War II and fought in the Pacific theater of the war.

“My dad is 96 years old. J.W. Foster is still alive. He served in the Navy in WWII. He brought Marines into Peleliu, which was one of the islands that had heavy Marine casualties.”

Now Robert is fighting another battle and this one is personal.

“Just about a year ago, pancreatic cancer, stage 4. I can’t say I blame it on Agent Orange or water at Camp Lejeune or what. I got it and I’m fighting it, just like a Marine. I’m diggin’ in.”

Foster served 23 years with the Marines. He now lives in Bridge City, Texas.

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