Robert H. Dembowski, Jr. was born in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania, on August 10, 1986 to Robert H. and Frances M. (Boyle) Dembowski. Bob attended Churchville Elementary School and Richboro Junior High School, and was a 2005 graduate of Council Rock High School North and the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology. Always an imaginative and charismatic individual, Bob was able to charm anyone with his infectious smile and sense of humor. He loved the outdoors, especially hunting, and spending time with his family and friends. From the time he was young, Bob had a passion for history and an interest in the military.
Bob's respect for his country and its veterans had an impact on all who came in contact with him. In May of 2005, when he was 18, Bob gave a speech at the dedication of the World War II Honor Roll at the Chancellor Center in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He spoke about service, courage, and committment to community and nation, and profoundly touched those present--especially the World War II veterans. You can read the words of Bob's speech here. (Note that Bob speaks about the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program; a back injury ultimately kept him out, and he enlisted in the Army.)
Bob joined the Army in January 2006, and completed the basic Airborne course at Fort Benning, Georgia, in April of that year. PFC Dembowski's unit was deployed to Iraq in January, 2007. While stationed at FOB Loyalty in Iraq, Bob became a friend to many of his fellow soldiers. They called him "Dembo," "Ski," and most often "Debo," and noted that he had a way of brightening even the darkest days of their deployment. Bob showed a willingness to learn and help others, and served as a machine gunner, driver, and radio transmission operator.
Bob died May 24, 2007 of wounds suffered when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire near Baghdad, Iraq. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Weapons Qualification Badge: rifle, expert.