Robert W. Doubek is a veteran of the Vietnam War and a lawyer who, upon hearing fellow veteran Jan Scruggs suggest a memorial for those who died in that conflict, set to work helping to make it a reality. His legal training and deep commitment to remembering the tens of thousands of Americans who died in Southeast Asia was instrumental in the ultimately successful effort at attaining vital support from Congress in securing a plot of land on the National Mall and in conducting a competition for the design of the memorial. It is safe to say that, without Robert Doubek’s efforts, the memorial would not have been built.
Since the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completed in 1982, Doubek has remained involved in matters pertaining to the memorial, including testifying before Congress and authoring an opinion article for the Washington Post in support of a memorial plague to be added to the memorial’s site, but apart from the wall, intended to honor those who died after the war from conditions associated with it, for example, victims of the military’s defoliation efforts during the war (referred to as “Agent Orange” for one of the main herbicides used). Today, Doubek, who is of Czech heritage, is affiliated with, and served as president of, American Friends of the Czech Republic, an organization of private American citizens of Czech heritage who advocate for closer ties between the United States and the Czech Republic, while celebrating that heritage. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C.