Robert Hatch, is a decorated Army Veteran. He fought in the Vietnam War for 18 months beginning in late 1966.
“It was terrible, war is terrible by design,” he says.
Hatch is recognized as one of the most decorated vets on the Central Coast, receiving numerous awards including the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.
“The idea is that part should be glamorized, comes with the territory, but, our job was paramount, the mission was paramount,” he says.
During the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Salute to Veterans Lunch, Hatch and many others vets were thanked for protecting the freedoms important to our country.
“This is the opportunity to remember the services,” says Hatch.
For him this lunch came at just the right time, just one day after the elections.
“What a perfect day to celebrate Veterans Day, the day after the national election, where the veterans should be on the top of everyone’s minds for protecting our way of life,” he says.
It’s something veteran Michael Stadnick agrees with, “the election is a reflection of our service to our country because that is why we serve to have our citizens have a free democracy.”