Honor your hero with thoughts, memories, images and stories.
SSG. Robert A. Massarelli
Robert, Bobby, Bob, Rob, and then back to Bobby
As Bob grew up he changed and reinvented himself as he matured. But some things always stayed the same – he was true to himself, he was loyal to his friends and family;
he cared about others and was willing to risk everything to help them. Bobby was usually “home” when we needed him – during times of illnesses and sadness.
A man of few words, he quietly helped his family weather many difficult times, just by being there.
The youngest of three sons, he enjoyed playing UNO with his parents and brothers – and was strongly competitive with his brothers.
At 18 he joined the Army, and served his first few years right here at Ft. Hood, Texas. During the summer of 2001, he left the ARMY and came back to Michigan to experience civilian life again.
But in early 2004, he decided that he belonged back in the ARMY.
From 2004- until his death in June, of 2012, Bobby was deployed 3 times to Iraq and then his final deployment to Afghanistan.
During those deployments to Iraq, Bob was a quiet, dependable, but sometimes he a was wackily, funny presence to the other soldiers in his company. During this last deployment, he decided that as one of the “old guys” he needed to get in better shape.
He started a “Cross Fit” exercise program that stretched his endurance and determination,
but he never gave up, he kept pushing forward. He became an inspiration to the younger soldiers.
Now, his final words to his family, left behind in a letter, give them pause, some peace, and reflection.
“I lived an interesting life, a lot to a credit to my life in uniform.”
“It was far from normal, but it was my calling.”
“Each of you…made an impact on my life, positive or negative, it made me the man.” I am…
“I thank all of you for the great memories, my family, friends, and men and women in uniform.”
“Don’t mourn this day, or event, celebrate how great it is to enjoy the life we are given.”
He ended by saying, “I love you all.”
What did you love most about your child?
He loved unconditionally. He seemed to always be here when we needed his love and support.
What did your child enjoy most about serving in the military?
The support of each of his military friends.
What do you miss most about your child?
His smile and his laughter.
What inspired your child to join the military?
His father, and both of the grandfathers had served in the military.
What message would you like to share with families with a loved one still serving in the military?
Treasure every moment and reunion you have with them. Always remind them about how much you love and care about them.
What was your child like in high school?
He was involved in the residential construction program and the 1/2 day work programs.
What was your Hero like as a child?
Bob was a caring and humorous child. He enjoyed small animals and had a dwarf rabbit, and later a Teddy Bear hamster for pets.
Which hobbies or activities did your child enjoy most?