U.S. Special Forces
Rick and Kristine met during the summer of 7th grade and began dating in 8th grade at the age of 13. They married on Valentine’s Day 1987 and two weeks later Rick joined the Army. Rick was part of the original Infantry unit of the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Arkansas before moving to Italy, being deployed to Iraq for Operation Provide Comfort, and earning his first combat patch.
In 1993, Rick completed his Special Forces training, being stationed with both 5th and 7th Special Forces. He has been on multiple combat rotations throughout South America and 3 official in Southwest Asia (Operation Enduring Freedom), and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
During an ambush in 2007, while he was attending to an injured soldier, Rick was maneuvering an ATV to pick up the medic, flipping the ATV, injuring his back, shoulder and hip. These injuries, in addition to a 2009 VBIED incident that penetrated the ISAF HQ in Kabul, Afghanistan, was career ending. Rick was medically retired from the military, after 26 years of service, in 2013, with mTBI/ post-concussion syndrome / PTSD and, severe arthritis.
Today the two have been married over 29 years; they have two daughters, two son’s-in-law, and three grand-children. Both have been very open about the struggles they have experienced with being on active duty service, as well as the transition into retirement. Presently, they are going through the remnants of over 30 years together, as they prepare to relocate to the state of Florida to begin a new chapter in their life.