Robert F. "Bob" Harik
1933 - 2016
Bob Harik worked for many years
to honor and preserve the memory of soldiers killed in action in
He obtained photos of the soldiers and their grave markers so that websites and organizations could create memorials
to insure that these heroes would not be forgotten. He was personally responsible for finding photos of over
400 soldiers, half that number are of men who served in the 22nd Infantry.
He was dedicated and tireless in
his work and his enthusiasm and passion left me in awe of him. I
loved talking with him
and enjoyed his accounts of searching for and finding information and photos. He had a great sense of humor and a
wonderful outlook on life which was inspiring.
Bob touched a lot of people with
his work. There are many in the 22nd Infantry who will be forever
grateful to him
for his dedication in honoring our comrades. I will personally miss the awesome friend I came to see in him.
It was an honor to be able to work with him.
---- Michael Belis September 11, 2016
Robert Frank Harik, 83,
peacefully passed from this life on August 18, 2016 with family
by his side. Although he lost
a courageous fight against prostate cancer, he did not let cancer take away his humor and loving spirit.
Bob was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA on March 17, 1933. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines,
before joining the Federal Aviation Administration in 1958 as an Air Traffic Controller. He went on to become
a facility manager, branch manager and division manager before retiring in 1989.
In retirement, he was able to pursue his love of fly fishing and golf. He was also a tireless volunteer helping to locate photographs
for memorial online tributes of Vietnam Veterans who sacrificed so dearly for their country. Bob was always eager to help his fellow man.
Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who leaves behind his wife Pat, children Doug, Debbie,
Rob (Dianna), Ron (Pam), and Stephanie (Chad); grandchildren Ashley, Jessica, Brad, Michael, Avalon, Allyssa, Shannon,
Samantha, Henry, and Max; and great-grandchildren Kyle, Ethan, William, Tyler, and Jayden. He was predeceased
by his mother, father, five brothers and two sisters.
A memorial service will be held at St. James of Jerusalem Episcopal Church in Yuba City on September 3.
A celebration of Bob's life, to which all family and friends are invited, will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11
at Peach Tree Golf and Country Club, 2043 Simpson Dantoni Road, Marysville.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to your favorite charitable organization in Bob's honor.
Send Condolences to
Published in Appeal Democrat from Sept. 1 to Sept. 2, 2016
The following is the
recommendation I submitted to the DMOR committee nominating Bob
Honorary Member of the 22nd Infantry Regiment during the 2012-2013 time frame:
To the Organization responsible
for determining the categories of Distinguished Member of the
I would like to bring to your attention someone deserving of the title of Honorary Member of the Regiment.The individual's name is
Yuba City, CA
For the past five years Bob Harik has worked constantly and tirelessy on behalf of veterans of the 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
from Vietnam. His efforts have resulted in accomplishments which exactly define the phrase "Outstanding contributions
to Regimental continuity, tradition and esprit de corps."
Bob Harik is 70 plus years old, and was not a member of the Regiment. He did serve in the US Coast Guard and was employed
by the FAA. His association with the 22nd Infantry began five years ago when talking with a neighbor and friend whose son,
Lee R. Bays, was killed in Vietnam while serving with 1/22 Infantry. The family was not familiar with computers and the internet,
and Bob offered to look up information concerning their son and the unit he served in, in order to help the family understand better
their son's Army service and the circumstances of his death.
Upon getting in touch with the webmaster of the 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry website, Bob was able to find contact information
for a few veterans who served in the same Company at the same time as Lee R. Bays. Talking with these veterans by e-mail
and by telephone, Bob began to gather information which could help the Bays family to learn more about their son's life
and death in Vietnam. From the veterans he contacted Bob was able to expand his list of names for veterans who served
with Bays. Harik then searched for phone numbers and addresses of these names, contacted each, and he told each one in turn
that he had been in touch with several of their fellow veterans, and got them talking to each other.
He has convinced them to share the memories and photos they each have of their service with 1/22, and has either obtained
their photos and sent them to me, or directed them to contact me directly, so that I could post those photos on the
1st Battalion website, so they may be shared with all. As each veteran is found by Bob and directed to me, I attempt to get them
to join our Society. I would suggest that several new members of our Society over the past five years, who served in
Company A 1/22 during the years 1966-68, are members because Bob found them and got them into our communication base.
A little history here to illustrate the above:
Bays had served in Company A 1/22 Infantry and was killed in a battalion size ambush of his company by the NVA in February 1967.
Bays had been with the Company when it arrived in Vietnam by ship, with the initial arrival of the 4th Division to Vietnam in August 1966.
Company A was hard hit by the ambush in February, and almost exactly one month later was hit again by another battalion size ambush.
In those two battles, which came within a period of 26 days, Company A lost a total of 36 men killed and 48 wounded.
Most of the survivors of those two battles had not seen or talked to one another in forty years. Bob Harik obtained Company rosters
and morning reports for Company A from the National Archives, and began to track down all of the names who were not KIA in
Vietnam. He made internet searches of telephone directories from across the US, and phoned names asking if they were the ones
he was looking for. As he found one he would direct each to the names and contact information he had already found for the others,
and for the first time in forty years Bob re-introduced a large number of men who had all served together in combat, but lost contact
with each other since then. Sometimes Bob would be unable to find the veteran, but would find a family member who could direct him
to the veteran. Bob would even find addresses and call neighbors of some names he found, and through the neighbors would be able
to find and contact the veteran.
Over the years Bob has found nearly all of the surviving members of Company A from 1966-1967, totalling approximately 50-60 men.
In many cases he has found that the veteran has died since Vietnam, and speaks to family members, gathering photos and information
in order to post memorial pages to the veteran on the 1st Battalion website.
He has contacted the National Archives and obtained rosters and morning reports for several of the 1/22 Companies in 1966-67.
He has compiled and made lists of Company A's killed and wounded in action during those years, lists of those who arrived
in Vietnam by ship with the Battalion, and lists of replacements sent to the Company during those years. He has shared those
documents with the 22nd Infantry Regiment Society, and I have sent copies of them to Ed Schultz, who has placed them
in the Society Archives.
Taking his involvment further, Bob has made it his special quest to find photos and burial information of all of 1st Battalion's KIA's
during Vietnam. He calls churches, schools, libraries, funeral homes, cemeteries, state Vietnam veterans organizations, and many times
gets info from them which leads him to other sources which he calls. He spends many hours on his computer searching through ancestry.com,
white pages, spokeo, Find-A-Grave and other internet resources which may produce photos, newspaper articles and any material which
can help to show the KIA was more than just a number, but rather, a human being with family and a life which was valuable. He finds
volunteers in different locations and convinces them to go to the cemeteries where our KIA's are buried, and take a photo
of the Soldier's gravesite.
In his dedication to make sure these men are not forgotten Bob Harik has spent five years and many thousands of man-hours,
with no compensation or payback or personal gain. Early on in the process he even requested that he not be given credit on the
website pages, though he does ask that any "volunteers" which he convinces to help him be given their share of credit. Many families
of the Killed In Action are surprised to be contacted by someone who asks them to share material with which their loved ones can be
honored and remembered. His respect for their loss, and dedication to honoring the memory of the KIA's evokes emotional responses
in many families.
208 Soldiers of 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry were Killed In Action in Vietnam, and the 1st Battalion website has photos for 177 of them.
Of those, Bob Harik has been responsible for finding at least 150 of those photos. He has further been responsible for finding at least
139 photos of their graves and grave markers.
It is rare to find this kind of time consuming dedication over so long a period of time in a member of our Society. It is even rarer to find it
in someone who is not a member. Bob Harik stills continues his work on behalf of 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry, and shows no signs
of slowing down.
I strongly recommend him for distinction as an Honorary Member of the Regiment.
22nd Infantry Regiment Society Historian
SGT Company C 1/22 Infantry 1970-71
webmaster 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
In 2015 Robert F. "Bob" Harik was named an Honorary Member of the 22nd Infantry Regiment.
Certificate of Honorary Member of the 22nd Infantry Regiment awarded to Bob Harik
Bob Harik on US Coast Guard Cutter
Sedge 1952-1954 Kodiak Alaska
Bob served in the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine before working a long career
with the Federal Aviation Administration
Bob and his wife Pat
Rest in peace dear friend.
Your dedication and zeal will truly be missed.
You touched so many lives in such a positive and caring way.
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