Robert Frank Heilig, Jr

Army of the United States
06 August 1950 - 16 October 1969
East St Louis, Illinois
Panel 17W Line 084

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Frank Heilig, Jr

28 May 2005

We will never forget you, Brother.

2nd Plt, B Co, 3/1 Inf, 11th LIB, Americal Division

From his Platoon Sergeant,
Robert Hartman
03 Sep 2005

For Robert Frank Heilig Jr
I never met you,
but I wanted to add something to the memorial, along with your Platoon Sergeant Robert Hartman. I see there is no personal message from other friends or family so I wanted to stop and write something.

I Am Not Dead

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glint on snow.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning's hush,
I am the soft uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there - I did not die.
Mary Frye (1932) and Wilbur Skeels (1996)

Rebecca Walters

04 Nov 2005

Bobby Heilig was my first teenage crush. The first rush of color on my cheeks, the first blush as this beautiful boy-man charmed me and made me feel beautiful. I was 3 years younger than him and all the girls adored Bobby. I remember the first time I saw him at Barbara Taylor's house. He was wearing leather pants and a leather hat, straight out of a James Dean movie. Sweet adorable smile and a first class flirt. I was out of my league but he made me feel like the most desirable girl in the world. I love Bobby Heilig - Always have, always will. We lost touch right before he left for Vietnam. I met his Mom and brother briefly. I remember how beautiful his Mother was and how close he was with his brother. It was a very close loving family. I was so young and shy that they really don't know me. When I got the news that Bobby was killed. I stopped in shock, it was like a dream. I felt him, I felt like he turned my head and kissed me good-bye. It was the first spiritual experience I had ever had.

I know his beautiful spirit and life is just a blink of an eye compared to eternity. I used to wear out my record player playing "I want to be Bobby's girl". For a brief moment in time I was Bobby's girl.

From a "Belleville Girl" now living in Atlanta,
Deborah Rose

28 May 2006

Remembering you today and always, so beautiful - Life is a blink of an eye compared to eternity - We will see you soon -

Your friend Debbie Rose
Memorial Day 2006

From a friend,
Deborah Rose
E-Mail will be forwarded by the
20 Nov 2005

I never knew my cousin - I was only seven years old when he was killed. I know his mother Betty was never the same after he was killed over there. Unfortunately I only learned about what happened when the traveling Wall came to Belleville. My brother Tom was over there too, but I don't like to ask too much ... I can tell it still bothers him about what he saw and experienced over there. I am so thankful he got to come home. Robert, even though I don't remember meeting you, it is so great that we have this medium to convey thoughts and read other things about you. Rest in peace.

John Heilig
(son of Clifford and Berlene)

21 Dec 2006

My name is Wally Smith. Robert was a very good friend of mine in high school. I think of him quite often. I have a picture of him that was taken in my back yard, just days before he left on his final journey to Viet Nam. I had the privilege of escorting the Traveling Viet Nam Memorial Wall on two occasions with the MC club I'm in. I have worn around my neck this picture along with his picture from the newspaper and article of his death in a clear plastic bag so people can see that he was a freind of mine and the true meaning of "some gave all". When people stop and ask me about him I enjoy telling them what I remember about him. I still miss him after 37 years. I go to his gravesite now and then and speak to him. I want him to know he is still my good friend. If some other high school friends read this you might recall my nick name in high school, "Twinks". I can be reached at

Best to all. Peace!

From a friend,
Wally Smith

04 Jan 2007

I was a good friend of Robert's for most of our teenage years. The last time I saw him was just 3 days before he left on his final journey. When I heard of his death I was saddened. My good friend had lost his life in Viet Nam.

Since than I have thought about him quite often. I visit his gravesite now and then, and let him know that he will always be my good friend. I see no signs that anyone ever visits his grave. I put a little something on his gravesite so others will see that he is not a forgotten soldier who gave all to his country.

36 years have passed since his death. My wife said to me, the last time I spoke of him which was just a few days ago, he has been dead almost twice as long as he was alive. That seemed so sad to me. I still have a few pictures of him standing in my parents' back yard in 1969 in his dress uniform, and a few old high school pictures. I can only imagine what kind of life he would have had. A good one, I'm sure. I heard his dad passed away this past year. I think about his mom and hope she is well. I would very much like to make contact with her. I was told she lives in a small town in Illinois, Alhambra I believe. I've always been grateful for the friendship I had with Robert. We had some fun times.

Thanks for this site. It gives others a chance to hear about those who gave so much and how so many of them were just great people who have never been forgotten. I sure remember.

From a friend,
Wally (Bubby) Smith

30 Mar 2007

I knew Bobby Heilig and miss him every day. We had the good fortune to do 'basic' and 'advanced infantry training' together at Fort Ord, California, plus, amazingly, we got assigned to the same battalion in Vietnam: 3/1st, 11th Light Infantry Brigade. He was my friend. Bob always entertained us with his imitation of W. C. Fields, he was one funny guy and always made us laugh. He was a proud infantryman who never complained, Bobby 'sucked it up' and did his duty, he was a man's man. Bobby is a hero, no lie, and he's always in my thoughts. Vaya con Dios, m'hermano, I salute you.

From a friend,
Dave Frank
Seal Beach, Ca.

18 Jul 2007

Mr. Heilig, I never had the privilege to know you but wanted to say thank you for the privilege to live the American dream. The first time I went to the Wall in DC I found your name on it. As a Heilig it made me very proud and sad at the same time. I have always been proud to be a Heilig but even more so since that day. Thanks for your service and your sacrifice.

From a brother in arms and possible relation,
SSgt Frank Heilig USMC

07 Nov 2007

My darling son, you are still missed by your brothers and me. I have gotten over the feeling that you will walk through the door at any time. Your dad grieved for you until the day that he passed away. I fully beleive that the two of you are together and waiting for me to join you. I have just now found this site and was very pleased to see the memorials from your friends. Your pictures are on the mantel as well as one with you and Jim Farrell and one of the Vietnam wall. I will talk to you again.

From his mother,
Betty Heilig

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2nd Platoon, Bravo 3/1 Infantry, lost two men on 16 Oct 1969:

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his mother,
Betty Heilig

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 May 2005
Last updated 02/24/2008