I had a brother who was 7 years younger, who died way too young, just a few years ago. I have to chuckle when I remember growing up with a little brother who, in my young eyes, was always in the way, bothering me and my friends and getting into trouble. When I was growing up, men often used a shaving brush with which they put soap on their face before shaving.
When my brother was about 7 years old or so, he was playing with my Dad’s shaving brush and dropped it in the toilet. This scared him so bad he flushed it and the shaving brush was immediately gone for good. Since he could buy a new one, my mom asked my dad why he was so upset. He then told her “because it was guaranteed to last a life time”. I guess the manufacturer didn’t take into consideration small boys who get into things they shouldn’t. As we grew up and became adults I realized he was the funniest person I have known. He could have everyone laughing so hard tears would be running down our cheeks. He majored in Radio and Television in college and had a radio show during those years that I am sure made the Dean wonder why they let this guy even attend school there. He would have his listeners in stitches. My brother actually went and joined the circus one summer in order to have an adventurous job. He fed and cleaned up after the animals and probably wondered why he had done that, but his stories were classic when he came home. After college he was old enough for the draft during VietNam and I remember he said “with a draft number of 7, I decided I might as well go enlist”.
He wanted to be a helicopter pilot but they sent him to pilot training to fly an OV10, a FAC, forward air control aircraft. During his time in Vietnam he met Colonel Mark Berent. After the war Col Berent wrote a book called “Storm Flight”. Richard is mentioned in the book by name in the first chapter. Although this is fiction, it is based on many facts during the war.
One of his special stories was of a sortie where he was spotting for jets and bombers, telling them the coordinates where to put their bombs. He had a small tape recorder which he kept in his plane and one of his better known recordings was taping his voice telling the fighters where to strike in Laos. It turned out that at the same time Nixon was speaking on the radio also in his plane. Ironically it was when the President was telling the Americans that we were not bombing in Laos and Cambodia. Ooooops…..Needless to say we are not sure where that tape wound up.