Upon graduation from highschool, looking forward to continuing his education and playing football in college, the Korean War erupted.  Communist aggression and expansion had to be stopped in that little unknown country far across the sea from little Far Rockaway.  Robert enlisted for that reason in the United States Marine Corps, and served in Combat in a Rifle Company:  Easy Company - 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division on the Eastern and western Front. 

"My mother was so relieved and happy to hear I was in an easy company!  This same mother would later make many phone calls to grieving mothers of men who were killed in that Easy Company."

The Marine Experience


God blessed me with the gift of life, returning me safely to my home and family on Christmas Eve, 1952.  It has been my struggle and responsibility, along with all the frailties and vanities of an imperfect human being, to live a life worthy of this blessing.  I felt such a need to give something back to honor the real tragedy of young men dying in wars...what they might have become, what they may have given to their world, the joy, the laughter and the love they would have known, the love they would have given to their wife and children.


* Meritorious Promotion to Cpl. in the Filed
- Presidential Unit Citation*
- Korean Service Medal
- National Defense Medal
- United Nations Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Korean Defense Medal
- Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Medal
- Korean War Commemorative Medal
- Cold War Commemorative Medal
- New York State Medal of Merit (warded to Combat Action Ribbon Holders)
- Bicentennial Memorial Medal
- United States Marine Corps Medal

Private First Class Modica while serving as a rifleman in a rifle platoon was a source of encouragement to his comrades under arms.  His own undaunted personal courage, his manifest concern for the welfare of his fellow marines and his respected exhibition of professional proficiency far beyond that to be expected in a man of his rank combined to make him an invaluable asset to his Command.  While serving in a Rifle Platoon, Private First Class Modica's many achievements plus his intelligence and powers of observation brought him to the attention of his superiors.  He was transferred to the company, Command Post, where his abilities
could be utilized.  Private First Class Modica approached his new
assignment with the same dedication and eagerness that had earned him respect from both officers and enlisted alike in the rifle platoon.

His ready grasp of the rifle company problems made it possible for him to assist greatly in the functioning of the Company.  When his Company was on line, he insisted in personally meeting each wounded man as soon as possible to assist them in any way possible to expedite the necessary administrative matters inherent in such situations.  P.F.C. Modica's concern for his friends and cause consciousness promoted him to extend his normal tour of duty in Korea.

He had originally been stationed at Sangley Point, P.I., where he
requested of the Commandant to be sent to Korea.  These actions were typical of his selflessness during his entire stay in Korea.  His meritorious achievement in terms of his military excellence and his devotion to duty in terms of his personal actions both in a rifle platoon and in the company Command Post are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.  With the aforementioned facts in mind, it is highly recommended that P.F.C. Modica be given a meritorious promotion to the next higher rank.
It is my opinion Private First Class Modica is eminently qualified for
promotion to Corporal.
- Lt. Colonel Anthony Caputo,
Commanding Officer, 2nd Bn, 7nth Regiment