Robert is Billy's son. He is a wild kid in high school, but then he joins the Marines and straightens out. In 1968 Robert was deployed in Vietnam, but he flies home when he receives the news of Billy's plane crash and Valencia's death by carbon monoxide. Robert doesn't have much of a character. Billy even thinks to himself that he doesn't really know Robert... if there even is much to know. The most significant thing about Robert is that he is a Green Beret in the Marine Corps. Even though Billy has been totally screwed up by his war experiences, he's happy that his own son is in the army.
Robert Pilgrim in the Essays