Robert Breglio enlisted into the Navy shortly after he graduated from high school. In 1961 he began boot camp, and until 1968 was working on different Navy ships, including the USS Hartley (destroyer) and USS Newport (cruiser). When he was commissioned to go to Vietnam in 1968, he was told to meet his unit in San Francisco, but instead was greeted by protestors banging on his car while he drove onto the base. He arrived in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam shortly after and was an aviation repair man. His squadron was constantly flying due to Operation Marke Time, a mission in which the United States and South Vietnamese militaries worked to stop the flow of North Vietnamese troops and supplies via water transportation.