Vennik, Robert Nicholas, SSG

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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11B40-Infantry Platoon Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1971-1971, 11B40, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment/B Troop
Service Years
1965 - 1971

Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

78 kb

Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Anthony E. Santa Maria, IV to remember Vennik, Robert Nicholas, SSG.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Wyckoff , NJ
Last Address
Wyckoff , NJ

Casualty Date
Aug 26, 1971
Hostile, Died while Missing
Other Explosive Device
Quang Nam (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
02W 003/Section 70, Site 1905

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1965, Basic Training (Fort Bragg, NC)
 Unit Assignments
Army Garrison, Alaska23rd Infantry Division (Americal)196th Infantry Brigade (Light) 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment
  1966-1968, 62E20, Army Garrison, Alaska
  1969-1971, 12B30, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
  1971-1971, 11B40, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light) /HHC
  1971-1971, 11B40, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment/B Troop
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign (1971)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Staff Sergeant Vennik was a member of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal). On August 26, 1971, he riding atop an armored personnel carrier moving to a night defensive position near the village of Cu An, 23 miles southwest of Hoa An in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam when his unit was ambushed. His vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade that caused the vehicle to explode killing him. His remains were recovered on June 27, 2000 and identified on February 2, 2001. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing (Court B) at the Honolulu Memorial.

James  Bartlett
Platoon Leader
211 Pinehurst Rd Munroe Falls OH 44262 USA
http://To A Fellow Soldier
I was Robert's Platoon Leader from Mar to Aug 71. I remember when we first met in Phu Bai.....he said he was going to be the best Platoon Sergeant I ever had.....he did not prove wrong. Robert was a skilled and brave person and I mourn his family's loss. You would have laughed though if you heard him and his brother-in-law (if memory serves me S/Sgt Johnny Jones), sing 'Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog' by 3 Dog Night every morning when they woke up. I'm sure the enemy was thoroughly confused!! Rest in Peace my friend.
Dec 18, 2013




I was there the night Bob was hit

Bob used to sit on a box of grenades, atop his ACAV. That's where the RPG hit that night in "Happy" Valley. That's why he was listed as MIA. I told the investigating Major that I saw Bob get hit. I didn't let others ACAVs go near his, as the ammo started cooking off immediately they were hit.
Bob was a terrific leader and person. I met him just a few weeks earlier, as I took over the Troop and he returned from R&R, standing atop his ACAV and signing 3DN's "Joy to the World" (Jeremiah was a bullfrog . . ). Once Bob was gone, the Troop lost its spirit. I hope his family has been treated properly with the MIA/KIA status. He was not MIA.
I visit Bob's place at the NJ VV Memorial often. I've dedicated "JTTW" to Bob several times over the years, when singing for a R&R band. He was a special guy.

Memorial Ceremony at Arlington

As a chaplain I conducted the ceremony for SSG Vennik at Arlington National Cemetery in 2001 (after his remains were found). No others attended except the Old Guard, cemetery personnel, and the Arlington Lady. The Old Guard reminded me that the absence of people did not detract from this soldiers sacrifice. The ceremony was conducted exactly as it should, with dignity and honor. Of the 1200 services I conducted at Arlington, none were more meaningful.

Not long after I took my kids to the wall and found SSG Vennik's name, still listed as MIA. I reminded them of the incredible price of freedom. 

God bless all our heroes of Vietnam, and all other wars. Thank you for freedom.

Action at Cu Ban

I have visited the site where SSG VENNIK was KIA two times in the last 18 months. My friend, Curtis Kastler was on the APC with VENNIK. All were killed. I have spoken to an eye witness who later found Bob Venniks dog tag and was solely responsible for Venniks repatriation. He now rests in Arlington National Cemetery. I would love to tell his family and friends the real story concerning his remains being returned the the United States. I honor VENNIK and all of our fallen, past, present, and future.
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