Robert Waples answers the call
Robert Waples and Troy Bystrom
Today is Veteran’s Day, 2017. We applaud and salute our Veterans who have worn the uniform, both past and present. We respect you, and have immense gratitude for your service, and our freedom.
Instead of just saying, “thank you for your service,” thousands of private citizens who have not worn the uniform, express their appreciation in their own ways throughout the year. Robert Waples is one of those Americans. Not only is he involved in volunteering with several veteran events and organizations, he is easy to spot in the crowd because he usually has his grandson, Troy Bystrom, with him. Robert includes Troy so his grandson will also have the opportunity to show respect to our veterans. Recently, we were able to catch up with Robert.
-You attend many Veteran events, take pictures at the events, and share those photos with the community. Your grandson, Troy, is frequently attending with you. Why do you involve him and does he enjoy these events?
Nancy Balogh Waples and Troy Bystrom
“I attend “Veteran” events as my way of supporting Veteran organizations and saying THANK YOU to the men and women whom have served in our Military. My grandson, Troy, will attend events with me whenever he’s able to visit with my wife Nancy and I.
Troy has participated with the Patriot Guard Riders, since he was 4 years old. He started out holding a U.S. Flag with me. He eventually exerted in independence and insisted on holding his own flag. coloradopgr.org
He loves the Patriot Guard Riders. At the monthly memorial at Fort Logan, he will regularly ask the Ride Captain if he can hold the United States Marine Corps flag. (Troy’s father is a Marine).”
-What Veteran, Service Members, and/or military community organizations have you participated with?
“I have participated in Veteran support events with the Patriot Guard Riders since 2010. Through my affiliation with the PGR, I have been exposed to Honor Flight organizations in Colorado, Nebraska, and Space Coast in Florida. I had the privilege to serve as a Guardian/Photographer on two Rocky Mountain Honor Flights. Being with the Veterans on the Honor Flight was very special. rockymountainhonorflight.org
This past summer, with the permission of the Colorado Patriot Guard Riders, Troy and I were honored to represent all PGR Members as we laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”
Troy Bystrom at Denver International Airport welcoming home Rocky Mountain Honor Fight
Robert’s determination to share and instill respect and love of country with his family’s next generation, reminded me of a former president’s speech. In 1961 at John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address he stated the now famous line, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
He also declared, “In your hands my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.”
Robert Waples is a private citizen who answered and continues to respond positively to that call. Not only with the volunteer hours he commits to monthly, but the example he sets for his grandson, Troy, and his community.
Robert Waples’s in Washington, D.C.
On this Veteran’s Day, if you are also a private civilian, instead of the usual handshake and thanking veterans for their service, remember the famous line our former president asked of all of us. Our Veterans and military community answered the call. How can we?
THANK YOU TO OUR VETERANS FOR OUR FREEDOM.