MVH Bangor Veteran of the Month: Robert Milsovic

Author: MVH Bangor
Posted: August 26, 2017
Category: Maine Veterans of the Month

Bangor-VOM-Aug-2017-3-e1503749091318.jpgRobert C. Milsovic was born in April 1937, in Pittsburgh, PA. As a young student he excelled at math and science, and upon graduation from high school entered the pre-med program at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned a medical degree from Pitt, where he developed a special interest in radiology. Robert married to Joan Gallagher in 1962, during his senior year at medical school. He and Joan, a teacher, have four children.

In 1964, as the Gulf of Tonkin incident drew the U.S. more directly into the Vietnam War, Robert joined the U.S. Navy and became a general medical officer. His first assignment was with the Seabees in Cuba, followed by a stint in Newfoundland. By 1965, there was an increasing need for Navy doctors, so Robert volunteered for duty in Vietnam. He soon found himself in a combat zone, serving as a regimental surgeon with the 3rd Marine Regiment, attending the ever-increasing number of casualties.

"In Vietnam, we were very efficient at getting the wounded evacuated," Robert remembers. "Because of that, many survived who would have died in earlier wars. Our job was triage."

While working at the mobile field hospital, his unit endured mortar rounds as well as other attacks. Over the course of six months, Robert took part in operations Harvest Moon, Taut Bow, Oregon, Long Lance, and Orange, accompanying 3rd Marine reconnaissance units during penetrations deep into enemy territory.

One of the citations that Robert received reads in part: "...LT Milsovic was airlifted by helicopter into the forward-most areas to treat the wounded in sectors under heavy enemy fire, remaining with the Marines for four additional days in spite of his own need for medical attention."

Robert received two Bronze Star Victor Awards. He was discharged in 1966, but found it hard to leave the harrowing memories of the war behind him.

He then took a position in radiology at Maine Medical Center in Portland. He stayed for 15 years, eventually becoming head of radiology. The family then lived for a time in Burlington, VT, before returning to Pennsylvania where Robert continued his career as a radiologist for another 19 years. Robert retired in 1993, at age 56. He and Joan moved back to Maine and built a house in Stockton Springs, where they soon became integral members of the community. Robert served on the local Rotary Club and he and Joan participated in "Wings of Love," which raised money for Christmas gifts for Belfast area children. At MVH Bangor, Robert, now 79, enjoys being outdoors whenever possible, watching football on TV, and most of all, regular visits from Joan.

Thank You, Robert, for your service to our nation.

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