WARSAW — Warsaw resident Robert “Bob” Swanson was honored as veteran of the month at the Kosciusko Commissioners meeting held Tuesday, July 9.
Swanson was born July 19, 1931. He grew up in the Atwood area and graduated from Atwood High School in 1950.
At the age of 18, he owned and operated a Standard Gas Station in Etna Green until receiving a draft notice in November 1951. In January 1952, Swanson headed to Schofield Army Base in Hawaii for basic training.
Swanson was then sent to Alaska and assigned to the 867th Artillery Unit just north of Anchorage. According to Swanson, it was quickly discovered that he was quite talented at cutting hair, and he was soon appointed as the unit barber.
He served in the military until his discharge in January 1954. Swanson married his sweetheart, Phyllis Ailer, soon after his return in April 1954.
He attended barber college in Indianapolis. Following college, Swanson worked for Russ Knoop in Knoop’s Barber Shop below Breading’s Cigar Store in Warsaw. Swanson worked there for 12 years.
In 1966, Swanson built a 26,000 layer chicken coop and farmed it for 12 years.
Eventually he accepted a position with Bruce Petro as a car salesman. Swanson was employed there for 24 years, until his retirement in 1996.
Bob and Phyllis Swanson have five sons: Greg, Mike, Scott, Jeff and David. They also have six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“He is a Godly man who raised five Godly boys,” said Vicki Mikel, Bob and Phyllis’ niece. “When my parents passed, I adopted them as my parents. They’re like a mom and dad to me.”
Vicky’s husband, Tim, added, “He’s a Godsend. He really is.”
Swanson was presented with a Veteran of the Month plaque.
“I feel very privileged,” said Swanson. “I feel like there are a lot of veterans more deserving than me, but I’m sure thankful for everybody that’s been involved in this.”