Robert Hilliard

Seventy years after the end of World War II, five Southwest Florida veterans share their experiences. Robert Hilliard was an 18-year-old draftee in 1944 deployed to Europe just after D-Day. The 90-year-old Purple Heart recipient and Sanibel resident served as Private First Class participating in the Battle of the Bulge. He talks frankly about his role as an Army newspaper reporter who initiated a letter writing campaign when he discovered dying post-war concentration camp survivors, living in deplorable conditions at a displaced persons camp called St. Ottilien, as the US military turned a blind-eye. One of his letters landed on President Harry Truman‘s desk, forcing him to do something. Hilliard and a fellow soldier changed the course of history and today, he urges young people to get involved and make change happen wherever necessary.