He graduated from Madera Union High School in 1966 and enlisted in the US Marines in June of 1967. About seven months into his tour, a mine had all but removed his lower left leg just below the knee. He returned home and struggled with PTSD, disability issues, and how people at the time viewed our Viet Nam heroes. He worked through the pain and was able to build a wonderful life for himself. His family and friends are the most important thing in his life - his family in Madera, Joyce, his wife of 25 years, and his 3 daughters, grand kids, and great grand kids from the time he was with Edythe.
As his life long friend, Bob Dixon, put it; Joyce has been his anchor and proved to be an amazing woman. They have been married now for 25 years. Life is good!Last year Rich had a small swelling in his left neck area. It was diagnosed as Stage IV carcinoma cancer in a lymph node. For the last 12 months Rich has done alternative treatments including oxygen hyperbaric and natural IVs. After the extensive treatments, his blood was 100% clear but the tumor had increased to the size of a hardball in his neck and his vocal cords are being affected. This has given Rich ten months of feeling good, carrying on with life and family activities.
It is almost September and one year since his cancer showed up and because of a newer program called Veteran’s Choice, Rich is able to undergo Proton Radiation Therapy at Scripps in San Diego, Ca. Scripps is the only Proton, less harmful radiation center in California. Joyce and Rich are grateful for this choice by the VA. He will be there for approximately seven weeks beginning September 6, 2016.