Bob Harder '65
Bob Harder, a 1965 Rush-Henrietta graduate, is a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict who has devoted his time in retirement to helping returning veterans and families through his service as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders.
Bob entered the United States Air Force in 1965, trained as an aircraft electrician, and was deployed to Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in 1968, having attained the rank of sergeant. Bob later graduated from Monroe Community College and began his career as an electrical apprentice and worked hard to create a career as a successful electrician. He served as project manager for major construction projects throughout the country.
An active member of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 20, Bob understands what it is like to be a member of the military who is returning home after wartime. That is why he has made it his personal mission to welcome the military men and women of today back home.
His work as a ride captain with the Patriot Guard Riders also includes escorting fallen soldiers to their final resting places and standing in Flag Lines to support World War II veterans returning home from Honor Flight trips. In addition, he has worked tirelessly to support an outreach program called “Help on the Homefront.” This initiative provides support to veterans, the families of deployed service members, and Gold Star families. In fact, he has helped raise more than $20,000 for the cause.
In addition, Bob is involved in the Patriot Guard Riders’ Veterans Recovery Program. Working with private, state, and federal organizations, the mission of this program is to locate, identify, and inter the unclaimed remains of veterans and provide honor and respect to those who served our country by securing a final resting place for them. Bob recently helped the families of five World War II veterans and two Vietnam veterans in this endeavor.
In 2015, Bob was honored by Sen. Patrick Gallivan and named to the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the state capitol.
Bob and his wife, Marie, live in Henrietta. They have three children, Shannon, Erinn, and Sean, all of whom are Rush-Henrietta graduates, and nine grandchildren.