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Blatnik, Sergeant Major Robert J.


Sergeant Major (SGM) Robert J. Blatnik, of Cleveland, Ohio, passed into eternal life in the arms of his heavenly Father and Jewish Messiah, at the beautiful age of 100, on December 5th, 2020.

Robert J. Blatnik enlisted in United States Army in October of 1938, at the age of 18 with a determined desire to serve his country.  He worked with combat intelligence and proved skilled in drafting topographical maps following training with the Corps of Engineers. SGM Blatnik was honorably discharged in August of 1945, as a proud member of the 1st Battalion, 26th Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, which is also known as the Big Red 1. Prior to the invasion of North Africa at Oran, he was handpicked by General Theodore “Ted” Roosevelt, Jr. to serve as his Sergeant Major. During WWII, General Roosevelt stated that his Sergeant Major was his key into the morale of the troops, and that he valued that resource.

SGM Blatnik was considered a seasoned infantryman, having been part of the invasions of North Africa (Algerian-French Morocco Campaign, Tunisia Campaign), Sicily (Sicilian Campaign- Battle of Gela), Germany (campaign of Germany), France- (Campaign of Normandy, France), and Belgium. SGM Blatnik was wounded multiple times, receiving medical treatment then returning to continue fighting alongside his men. SGM Blatnik and his men stormed Omaha Beach (Fox-Red-One), during the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day).

Since leaving the battlefield, SGM Blatnik worked for the U.S. Post Office in Ohio. He received a Career Service award during his federal employment in 1972, from the Cleveland Federal Executive Boards for directing occupants from a burning building while on his mail route, where he saved a child by performing CPR.  After retirement from the USPS, SGM Blatnik then spent countless hours as a Volunteer Firefighter/ Paramedic at South Padre Island. SGM Blatnik then went on to participate in the National Veteran’s Golden Age Games for many years, where he won many medals. SGM Blatnik also dedicated over 10,000 hours to the Dallas Veterans Affairs Hospital.

SGM Robert Blatnik is preceded by his son, Guy Blatnik and survived by his wife, Marlene Blatnik; his children, Loretta Anne, Harry Blatnik and Holly Davidson; and his grandchildren Jane Kitko, Amanda Blatnik, Ethan Davidson and Josiah Davidson.


Purple Heart – 4                                                                        American Campaign Medal

Silver Star                                                                        American Defense Service Medal

Bronze Star with 5 oak leaf clusters                                            Presidential Unit Citation

Good Conduct Medal                                      European-African- Middle Eastern (EAME)

French Citation Medal                               Campaign Medal with one bronze star service

Belgium Citation Medal                                  and one silver service star with arrowhead

Expert Rifleman and Expert Pistol                                                      WWII Victory Medal

French Fourragere                                                Combat Infantryman Badge, 1st Award

Belgian Fourragere                                                           Honorable Service Lapel Button

Distinguished Unit Badge

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5 Thoughts on Blatnik, Sergeant Major Robert J.
    Don Huffman
    13 Oct 2022

    So extremely grateful for the US Army Service of Sgt/Maj Robert Blatnik for our country during such an important period of our Military History, that helped save the world from being overcome by the Hitler dictatorship. Then his extended careers serving his community in multiple capacities. Such an inspiring person. May the Lord continue to bless him in his new heavenly assignment..
    d huffman, Army vet, DFW Honor Guard member..

    Gary king
    13 Oct 2022

    What can one say about such a blessing that God bestowed upon this earth and the American people. I just came across his story and watched when he returned to the hallowed ground where he was the front line of the invasion on D-day. It touched my heart so deeply as a fellow veteran but most of all an American who has been able to live my life in peace because of the great sacrifice he and his men gave that day. He did more that morning fighting Hitlers Nazis than most will or could ever do in a lifetime. I just want to say thank you, thank you SO MUCH for what you did and I pray that our Heavenly Father comfort your family and loved ones and keep you close in his embrace until the great day you are all reunited. Thank you for my freedom, thank you so much for stopping the Nazis so the world could live in peace. You literally saved the world and will always be a hero to not just all Americans but to all mankind. RIP and I truly with a hopeful heart hope to meet you some day.

    13 Oct 2022

    I salute you for serving our country. may you lay in peace.

    Elijah Minks
    13 Oct 2022

    All i can say is thank you, i Salute you. Rest In Peace.

    Liam Crawford
    13 Oct 2022

    To the family of Sergeant Major Robert Blatnik: I wish to send my condolences to each and every one of you. I didn’t know Mr. Blatnik personally but I heard of him when I saw a video of him in regards to being a Omaha Beach survivor. After learning more about him, I thought.. “wow, this man is quite a character; what a life this man lived”. He sure has my respect for serving his country, his community and making a positive difference to those around him. I heard he even saved a child’s life. He seems like an amazing human being who dedicated his life to the service of those around him. This all hits close to home for me because I’m also a soldier of the 1st infantry division (the Big Red One). He gives me inspiration to strive to be like him. Once again he seems like he was a great person and I wish you all well. – Sincerely SPC Liam Crawford, US Army.

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The Gillilands
The Gillilands[click to read more]
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Dear John,

It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Tha you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you.

Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad.

Love, The Gillilands


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