The Woman’s Club of Pleasanton hosted their Veteran’s Program on Nov. 12, at the Pleasanton Civic Center. Members heard a presentation on the Fisher House at Lackland AFB, which was followed by a Quilt of Honor presentation.
The quilt recipient was Robert Morantes, who was born on July 5, 1948, in Corpus Christi.
Morantes was drafted into the Army on Nov. 4, 1968, at the young age of 20. He attended basic training at Ft. Bliss, in El Paso, and then attended infantry school at Ft. Ord, Calif.
After all his training was complete Morantels was ordered to Vietnam in April of 1969. He was assigned to the 39th Infantry Division B Co., 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Division. As an infantryman his job was to go on foot patrols in the jungles of Vietnam looking for enemy combatants and clearing out landmines and various other types of explosives. On June 27, 1969 just a few short months after arriving in the country Morantes was assigned as a pointman for that day’s patrol. The events of that day forever changed his life. After walking patrol for some time, the team set off a trip wire causing an explosion. During this explosion Morantes was severely injured. The explosion caused damage to the entire right side of his body, to include torn muscle tissue in his leg, a punctured lung, and lacerations to his right arm– scars he still bears to this day. His injuries were so severe that he needed to be medically evacuated to Saigon, then to Japan, St. Louis, Mo. and finally Ft. Sam Houston.
After spending some time recovering at Ft. Sam, Morantes was medically retired from the United States Army and awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained.
After his release from the Army, Morantes returned to Corpus Christi, where he worked providing delivery services and then went to work at the Corpus Christi Navy Depot, repairing aircrafts.
He spent a few years at the depot and then in 1974 was hired by the United States Postal Service where he worked at various locations around San Antonio until his retirement in 2005. During this time Morantes met his loving wife Natalia (Nell), they were married on Dec. 30, 1977. They settled in Pleasanton and together they have five children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. After retiring, Morantes has stayed active in various veterans groups to include a local peer support group and VFW. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their family and many grandchildren who keep them busy and active.