Last week, many from across Rensselaer County paid their respects to Robert Reiter, who sadly passed away after a long illness. Bob was well-known for his service as the director of the Rensselaer County Veteran’s Service Agency. He did so much more during a life of service and dedication to community and country.
So much, that one person attending the wake for Bob at St. Henry’s in Averill Park remarked, “Who’s going to do everything that Bob did?”. A good question, especially if you knew how
Bob was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a proud and loyal Marine. Following his service, Bob began building a family in his native Stephentown, working with the Post Office and retiring from that position to work with the county in the late 1990s. Bob was also a key member of the Brunswick Elks, donating countless hours for charitable events, benefits, community gatherings and functions. All while remaining just a phone call away to any veteran or family member of a veteran in need.
Veterans and their families knew they had a friend in Bob. Bob was proud of never turning away a veteran who needed help. Bob referenced vets for jobs, helped them navigate the maze of paperwork and bureaucracy that often awaits veterans or their families in accessing veteran services they have earned, and always on hand to lend advice, guidance or support when asked by a veteran. Much of Bob’s service to veterans took place afterhours, at nights or on weekends. He was always there, ready to help a veteran in need.
Rensselaer County honors a veteran who has passed away every month, and Bob was always proud to officiate at the ceremonies, meeting family members and often bending the ear of the elected officials who attend the ceremonies on behalf of a veteran or a cause to benefit veterans. Bob was among those giving support to Legislator Tom Walsh, the chair of the Legislature’s Veteran’s Committee, in establishing the Hall of Heroes, which memorializes those county residents who have earned the Medal of Honor and those honored at the monthly ceremonies. The Hall is a place of honor and respect, and Bob has certainly earned his place among the heroes and veterans who helped protect our country.
Our condolences to Bob’s wife, Deb, his children, his family and his many friends and fellow veterans. Bob worked to ensure the service of our veterans was never forgotten or taken for granted. We will now endeavor to also ensure Bob’s service is always remembered.