Spring veteran reflects on battles fought, buddies lost




Posted on May 30, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 31 at 12:16 PM

HOUSTON – A Spring man who played a part in one of the greatest battles in American history reflected on the experience on Memorial Day.

Bob Rust, 86, who fought many battles in World War II, says his memories are still vivid and painful.

"It’s a sad day, remembering," Rust said.

He said the one that stands out the most in his mind was the largest and bloodiest for Americans, it was in Belgium.

It was the battle of the bulge.

"The bulge is generally where this line is here," he said pointing to a map.

He and his 517th Regimental Parachute Team are credited with helping to win that battle.

"They did what they were supposed to do to save our country," he said.

He said he remembers Christmas night, 1944. Rust and his men were ordered to take a hill
after another group of Americans were slaughtered trying to do the same thing.

"We were fighting all night, we took the hill with far fewer troops that had attacked, and far fewer than the Germans had opposing us," Rust said.

But he lost so many friends, soldiers who gave everything they had. He said he thinks of them on Memorial Day.

"Yes, I certainly do, they would have died for me, not because I'm special, I was just one of them," Rust said.

Rust went on to become a lawyer in peace time.

His wife recently passed away and now he lives in a senior community and considers himself lucky as he remembers the war buddies he lost all those years ago.