WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rob Caldwell has seen the world

2014-02-10T18:00:00Z 2014-02-10T21:30:13Z WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Rob Caldwell has seen the worldMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
February 10, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

Rob Caldwell has seen the world.

And from different perspective than most people.

The 2003 Andrean and 2007 U.S. Naval Academy grad was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. and saw tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A graduate student at Columbia University in New York, Caldwell will come home Sunday to be inducted into the Andrean High School Sports Hall of Fame.

"Truly a great honor to be selected and to be chosen at such a young age," Caldwell said. "When you think of the great student-athletes and coaches who are in it, they great people who have come out of Andrean, it is a humbling experience.

"I know Casey (Nowinski) from our team is in it and now (former Andrean football coach) Ted (Karras Jr.) is going in with me. That makes it kind of special."

Caldwell will graduate with an MBA in May and will be a senior product manager for Amazon.com in Seattle.

"It is a great challenge and great opportunity," Caldwell said. "Amazon is the leading online retailer and it is certainly different from anything I have done."

That may be an understatement when one looks at his career. He starred at Andrean and for Navy and was one of the nation's top tacklers in 2005 and 2006. Then came his tour of duty.

His job was to ride around in big vehicles and try to find roadside bombs.

"If you had told me when I was a kid I would be halfway across the world, I would have never figured it and I might have been a little scared," Caldwell said. "We were over there and we had a job to do. I wasn't scared because I had great men under me and we had the greatest equipment. Sure, it was dangerous, but we had lots and lots of training."

He loved his time at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

"The Naval Academy was a great place and I am very fortunate to have gone there and have the opportunity to play football," Caldwell said. "We and coach Paul Johnson got the program turned around. It was a great experience in the classroom and one the football field.

"I met so many people from so many different walks of life and from different parts of the country. It was unbelievable. As an 18-year-old kid from northwest Indiana, it was an eye-opening experience."

Caldwell said he is fortunate to have had a great education, which includes his stay in New York City.

"I am very fortunate that my parents (Debbie and Chris) sent me to Andrean so I could get a great college prep education," Caldwell said. "I had great teachers and a great academic environment."

To submit a "Where Are They Now?" idea, contact Mike Nieto at mike.nieto@nwi.com or (219) 933-3232.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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