Rick Norman sits in his favorite wing-back chair in his lovely home. A builder, father and veteran Rick is someone you would put in charge of whatever comes up. His father served the whole of World War Two, “I grew up in those years. I know what it’s like for children left behind to worry about dad making it back home.” Little Rick tracked his dad on maps and followed the reports on the battles every day in the news. His dad made it home in one piece and took up his life with his family.
“As a kid I thought the Marines were the ‘cat’s meow’. I respected the military and I am proud to be an American. Growing up I was an athlete and loved to keep fit. I played football in high school, quarterback and we were a good team.” His plans to go to college were derailed when the school he chose withdrew their offer for budgetary reasons. It was too late to reapply to the other schools he wanted to attend and decided to become a Marine. “When I told my father he scoffed and told me I would never make it. Talk about a challenge. In retrospect it was the best decision I ever made, I learned honor and a value system that has guided me throughout my life.”
Although Rick was honorably discharged in 1966, just before the Vietnam War began in earnest, he did serve in several conflicts. Lebanon was at war and he was on a ship ready to deploy within minutes of an order to engage. He was stationed in Okinawa when China claimed ownership of islands that were part of Taiwan. The Marines were again ready to deploy when the issue was a hot potato. There were other conflicts where the Marines were called in to stand by until the situation stabilized.
Rick went back to college after the service and became a civil engineer which led him to being a builder. Now he is retired and is a proud dad and grandfather.
After his service was complete he volunteered in the Marine Corps League which primarily helped soldiers get back to civilian life.