Roberto “Bobby” Barrera, a combat-disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, was elected to the Disabled Veterans’ Life Memorial Foundation board of directors in 2013. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in February 1969 and while serving in Vietnam, he was seriously burned when enemy forces exploded a 500-pound land mine beneath his armored personnel carrier. Following his injury, he became a social worker helping military families and is a renowned speaker.
Barrera was elected Chairman of the board of directors of DAV (Disabled American Veterans) at the organization’s 2010 national convention in Atlanta, Georgia after being elected national commander at the 2009 national convention in Denver, Colorado. He served a one year term in this capacity.
His military awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. In addition, Barrera was named DAV’s (Disabled American Veterans) Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year for 1998; LIFE’s (Leaders in Furthering Education Foundation) Presidential Unsung Hero Award for 1998; Disabled Veteran of the Year for Texas in 1990 and 1998; and the Department of Defense Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award for 1997.
A native of Del Rio, Texas, Barrera earned his B.S. in psychology at St. Mary’s University and later, while teaching at Del Rio High School, earned a M.Ed. in guidance and counseling at Sul Ross State University. He retired in 2004 and currently conducts motivational presentations for the Department of Veterans Affairs.