Voices of Veterans: Military Intelligence Officer Robert Hoch Shares His Story of Service During the Vietnam War

Mr. Hoch helped the Vietnamese Special Police carry out crucial missions

Contact: Kimberly Hubbard
(512) 936-9582
PDF Version
PRESS RELEASE — May 17, 2024

AUSTIN — Today, Texas Land Commissioner and Veterans Land Board (VLB) Chairwoman Dawn Buckingham, M.D., is proud to introduce the next installment of the series highlighting the VLB's Voices of Veterans oral history program. In this episode, we hear the story of U.S. Army Veteran Robert Hoch.

To listen to Mr. Hoch tell his story, visit VoicesofVeterans.org.

Mr. Hoch's family moved to San Antonio when he was young. His father served in three wars, including World War II. His two brothers also served in the military, and all three brothers served in Vietnam. 

He joined the U.S. Army in 1967 and trained at Fort Sill in Oklahoma before being sent to Vietnam in November 1968. Mr. Hoch remembered the oppressive heat that greeted him when he arrived in Vietnam and stated that the climate felt "like a furnace." He served as a Military Intelligence Officer and worked as an advisor to the Vietnamese Special Police. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Honor Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam National Police Honor Medal for his service. 


U.S. Army Veteran Robert Hoch
U.S. Army Veteran Robert Hoch


Mr. Hoch spoke about carrying out missions with the Chief of Police, Mr. My, and building a friendship with him while getting to know the Vietnamese people. Tragically, just 30 days after Mr. Hoch left Vietnam, Mr. My was killed.

Mr. Hoch revealed that he was deeply affected by the hostility some Vietnam Veterans faced from American civilians after returning from the war. However, he expressed that much of his pain was healed after participating in the 2018 Veterans Day Parade in Fredericksburg. He recounted how people lined the street, three to five deep, to celebrate the Veterans and thank them for their service. 

When asked what advice he would give to future generations, Mr. Hoch talked about navigating the circumstances we face every day while trying to accomplish our goals, saying, "Your mission on earth is to address these circumstances the best you can and see where you fall at the end of the day… Don’t try to write the script."


U.S. Army Veteran Robert Hoch and Chief of the Vietnamese Special Police Mr. My
U.S. Army Veteran Robert Hoch and Chief of the Vietnamese Special Police Mr. My


Veterans can email VoicesofVeterans@glo.texas.gov to tell their stories. Please note that the Veteran must be a resident of Texas at the time of their interview.

Voices of Veterans is a state agency's first Veteran oral history program. It records the stories of Texas Veterans through their time in service and after returning home from combat.

The VLB records interviews with veterans over the phone or in person. Their interviews are then permanently archived in the Office of Veterans Records at the GLO, where they join the historical documents of other Texas heroes such as Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Barret Travis.

Veterans' interviews are also available to researchers, historians, genealogists, and the public. These precious records inspire future generations and remind us of our Veterans' sacrifices.

To listen to the the over 500 archived stories of Veterans documented through the GLO's Voices of Veterans oral history program visit VoicesofVeterans.org.


More Press Releases