FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Retired army veteran John Roberts grew up in the segregated south and credits his service with opening his eyes on a cultural level as well.

The year was 1965, the site was Kentucky. John Roberts was a young serviceman whose draft number had been called.

Initially, he went to training and basic training and then went to a missile school in Alabama. 

“I had heard of Cape Canaveral but I had no idea all of that was down there,” Roberts explained.

After wrapping up missile school training Roberts and his whole unit learned they would instead be deployed to Vietnam.

For Roberts, being a military serviceman was a family affair. He had a brother who was also on active duty in the airforce at the time.

“We saw black people all over the work even speaking Spanish. That was something. Robert recalled.” 

Now a father to an Army serviceman Robert marvels at where the military has progressed to.

“He took me to his PX and it looked like a Walmart.” Roberts shared about a recent visit to his son’s base.