Robert Byers was born on 22 January 1948 in St Clair, Alabama. He joined the US Marine Corps on 19 March 1968 and trained as a rifleman. Lance Corporal Byers was assigned to Company D, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division in Vietnam on 22 August 1968. On 23 February 1969, Lance Corporal Byers earned the Bronze Star with Combat V device for heroism while engaged with North Vietnamese forces. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. On 25 February 1969, Lance Corporal Byers again displayed bravery while engaged with a well entrenched enemy force. He deployed his men to lay down a base of fire, enabling the remainder of his company to maneuver on the enemy positions. For this action, Lance Corporal Byers was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with V Device for heroism. Then Sergeant Byers was discharged from the service in February 1970 and returned to the Huntsville area.