THE WORD 'IDLE' TIME IS NOT IN HIS VOCABULARY
As far as Bob Sigleer is concerned, age 73 is entirely too young to retire.
The spry, quick-witted Hubbard resident had just returned home from a business trip to Medford in early October when he set aside some time to explain his reasoning. He technically retired from the state years earlier, but now he is managing a security firm, Rams Private Security Company.
Sigleer spent 22 years in military service; the first three years in the Marine Corps and the rest in the Army. There was a draft in effect about the time he graduated from high school, but he had no intention of waiting around for it.
“My father served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy — he was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed — and my two older brothers also served in the Navy,” Sigleer said. “I got sick of the Navy not even being in it. So, I went into the Marines.”
The first tour came quickly,
“I attended the old Hubbard grade school — the old brick three-story schoolhouse — and then I went to North Marion,” he recalled. “I graduated from North Marion in June of 1967, and by October, I was in Viet Nam.”
In terms of longevity, Vietnam was but a slice of his military life, but it was a rich slice. He earned two Purple Hearts, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, the Vietnam Service Medal, and a combat action ribbon. Those were among a few of the awards of commendation he received throughout his military career.
After several years in the Marines, serving in both Vietnam and Camp Pendleton, Sigleer was discharged. But he quickly discovered the civilian job market to be sparse at best.
“That’s when Boeing up in Seattle laid off about half of its workforce, and you just could not find a job,” he said.
So, Sigleer first went back to explore what options were available with the Marines, and it looked like more of the same, so he took a hard look at the Army. The latter furnished him with an opportunity to work on airplanes, so he opted to take that route.
“They asked me what I wanted to do, and I told them that in Vietnam we had to walk everywhere, so I wanted to fly — but not helicopters,” Sigleer said. So they made me a fixed-wing mechanic on a U1A Otter. What they didn’t tell me was that it was obsolete and they were phasing it out.”
He was later reclassified — which he said just means they gave me a new job — and went to work as a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout.
A couple of decades later when Sigleer wrapped up his military service, he returned home to Hubbard and went to work for the Oregon State Department of Corrections. After 18 years there, he went to work with the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, where he spent another 12 years.
“At DPSST I was the token old guy that showed young guys that old guys can hurt them with defensive tactics,” he quipped.
Additionally, he spent more than 17 years as a volunteer with the Hubbard Police reserves.
“He’s a guy with a big heart,” said Hubbard resident James Audritsh, who served with Sigleer in the police reserves. “I think he was a reserve officer for at least 10 years maybe 15 years or more. We worked together for all the school events, and there were a lot of other community events that we did together. He was always around town known for his pipe.”
For many people, putting in that many years of work and volunteer service would serve as the perfect excuse for hanging out on the patio with your pipe or spending more time fishing. Not so for Sigleer, and he’s pretty clear about why.
“If you go by data, once you retire from the military your life expectancy is 5 years,” he explained, “and once you retire from law enforcement, it’s about the same.
“I think you get used to working at a certain stress level, and once that stress level is removed your body goes into shock,” he added. “At least that’s the way I look at it. So, I just keep working.”
That’s why today, more than 5 ½ decades removed from North Marion High School and with an ocean of work behind him that includes more than two decades of military service, Sigleer is happy to be living in his hometown and happy to be as busy as ever.