Currently, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education K.C. Robb is one month into a two-year mobilization at the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Ill. This is his fourth mobilization for the Army Reserves since 2006.
Sgt. 1st Class Robb is a member of the 4224th United States Army Hospital Detachment No. 1. He joined the Reserves at the age of 30. Robb had quit his job and was attending graduate school. He needed a way to help pay for his education. At the time, the Reserves paid $20,000 toward college loans, and Robb thought it would be a good part-time job.
Robb was a member of the Reserves for 14 years before his first mobilization in 2006 to Fort Bliss, Texas. After one year, he was sent home for a year and remobilized in 2008. The third time was in 2010. All three mobilizations were spent at the Soldier Resiliency and Readiness Center where Robb was in charge of the laboratory. The center is a large processing center for soldiers preparing to go overseas and for those returning home.
At the Rock Island Arsenal, Robb is working for the Community-Based Warrior in Transition Unit (CBWTU) assisting injured soldiers with needed therapy. He makes sure the soldiers get to their appointments and provides support when needed.
Robb is aware of what a challenge this will be. When working with returning soldiers at Fort Bliss, he saw what war has done to soldiers – both men and women. “They didn’t have the physical injuries, but I could see it in their eyes and I could see it in their body language,” he said. “It was very difficult. I don’t think as a general rule, American citizens realize just what kind of sacrifice these men and women have made for their country. If I can help them, to me that’s all I really need.”
After nine years teaching and coaching for the Independence, Iowa, public school system, Robb joined Upper Iowa University in 2002. “I absolutely love working with our students,” he said. “I don’t make light of this, and I tell people all the time – particularly prospective students that I meet with – I’ll ask them if they’ve ever seen the movie Field of Dreams.
“Some will say yes and some will say no, and I’ll say, well, there’s a line in there where they say, ‘Is this heaven?’ And then I say, Upper Iowa isn’t heaven, but it’s pretty darn close.
“I feel very fortunate to teach at Upper Iowa. What I do is not work.”
While he is mobilized, Robb will continue to work with Upper Iowa students through directed study coursework.