Robert F. Pulliza

France (1957); St. Agnes (1952-1953)
Bob and Mary Ann Pulliza - Aug 2008

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Biography of Robert F. Pulliza

I was one of the boys from Saint Agnes who would have graduated from Tappan Zee High School with the class of 1956. You will find me in the 1953 year book as a sophomore. I was on the Tappan Zee football team (played 1st string right guard and nose guard) and had been selected for the 1st string all county football team in 1953. Mary Ann Rechtorovic and I were dating.

Unfortunately, my Father obtained a court order in December, 1953 to have my brother Peter and I released from Saint Agnes into his custody. He took us to New York City to live. Later that month, I ran away from home and subsequently went to live at Saint Vincentís Home for Boys in Brooklyn.

I enlisted in the Army in October, 1956, having never finished high school. I went through basic training at Fort Dix, NJ, combat engineer training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO and was assigned to an engineer unit in Georgia. In August, 1957, I was transferred to an engineer unit in Germany where I served until February, 1961. Returning to the States, I was assigned to a post in Virginia. In 1962, after having earned a GED, I applied for and was selected to attend Infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

After receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in early 1963, I was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, which was destined for a 6 month rotation to Germany for training as a Platoon Leader. We left for Germany in June of 1963 expecting to be home by Christmas of the same year. When President Kennedy was assassinated in November, 1963, my unit was deployed on the East German border in anticipation of an attack by the Warsaw Pact and we did not get home until February, 1964.

By 1965, I was a 1st Lieutenant and was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea as an Infantry Battalion Logistics Officer. Retuning to Fort Riley, I was assigned to the newly activated 9th Infantry Division as a Company Commander. By this time I had been promoted to Captain. We trained from April, 1966 to December 1966 when we left for Vietnam. I stayed with the company until May, 1966 than went on to be a staff officer.

Leaving Vietnam in December, 1967, I was sent to the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning and than to the Dominican Republic as an Infantry Brigade Advisor to the Dominican Army. While in the Dominican Republic, I was promoted to Major and once again, was assigned to Vietnam as a Regimental Advisor to the Vietnamese Army.

While in Vietnam, I applied for and was accepted for a Boot Strap program which allowed me to attend college full time for up to a year to obtain a degree. I started taking college courses before I was commissioned and continued to do so when I could so I only had 6 months to go when I applied for the program. I attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and earned a degree in Military Science and Business in 1973.

From school, I was assigned to be the Executive Officer at the Army Recruiting District at Fort Hamilton, New York. Mary Ann and I got back together again in 1974 while I was stationed in New York and we were married in August, 1975. We were transferred to Fort Sheridan, IL where I earned my Masterís Degree in Public Administration and Management. We finished our military service at Fort Sheridan, Illinois and moved back to New York where we started our own business as small business consultants. Later, I was recruited to be a Vice President for the franchisor and we moved from New York to Maryland.

In 1994, Mary Ann and I moved to our newly built home in Spring Hill, Florida and have lived here ever since. I have 3 children from a previous marriage and Mary Ann and I have a daughter. We have also been blessed with three granddaughters.

My military awards include the Combat Infantrymanís Badge, the Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters and various other awards for service in Korea and Vietnam.

In September 2006, my brother Peter W. Pulliza passed away. He was 67 years old. He had been at St Agnes for 6 months in 1953.