Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Local News

October 30, 2013

Military takes man around the world and back

VALDOSTA — Just like the old song goes, Gerald Richard has been everywhere, man.

“I've been to every continent except Antarctica,” said Richard.

It's all courtesy of his 25-year (and counting) career with the Air Force.

Growing up in Kinder, La., Richard was the oldest of four boys, with an athletic streak.

“I was the 'high school jock' in school.”

As a senior, Richard was faced with two paths: go for an athletic scholarship in football or basketball; or enter into the Air Force.

“I really didn't have any family members in the military, except for an uncle who was in the Army for four years. The military wasn't pushed on us. It was my choice ... and that's what made up my mind to do it.”

It's a decision he's never regretted and one that's taken him all over the world.

Serving with Air Force security forces for 16 years, he flew with senators, representatives, diplomats and presidents as part of their ground security.

His team's job started when the plane landed, with his team securing the plane for as long as it was on the ground. Their only break came when the plane was in flight, and then when it landed, they would start up again.

From there, he became a first sergeant, making sure other service members were ready for their missions, mentally and physically. It's a position he still holds today.

When he came to Valdosta in 2008, he joined AMVETS Post 607.

“Before coming here, I didn't really know about the organization. The members welcomed me with open arms.”

After joining, Richard helped Post 607 with its yearly Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas toy giveaways. Now, he's serving as the Post's public relations officer.

“It seemed like a natural transition to become more involved.”

It's work that Richard relates to his long Air Force career.

“It's along the same lines. It's all about service to the country and making a team effort to take care of the people in the community who need our help. It's about American veterans taking care of American veterans.”

For Richard, part of Post 607's job to be centralized and located in the community, and part of his job is getting out into the community to distribute information.

Information like the upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner Basket event, where AMVETS Post 607 will provide baskets for 60 families in the community. It's something Post 607 has been doing for more than 20 years and it's something Richard wants to see still happening 20 years from now.

“I want to get a younger group of veterans involved, to start bringing them into the fold, make sure they know about the organization and what it does ... the thing a lot of people know about is the nightclub portion, but that's a separate, for-profit business. It's only 20-30 percent of what we do.”

Richard challenges other veterans to become a member and find out firsthand what Post 607 is about.

“They can call the Post or they can stop by and talk to members.”

Interested veterans can reach the Post at (229) 244-1463, or just stop by Post 607, 728 E. Hill Ave.

Non-veteran members of the community interested in donating or helping with the upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner Basket event and/or Christmas toy giveaway, contact Post 607, (229) 244-1463.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ARociewilliams_002.jpg Woman shares nearly a century of lessons

    With nearly 100 years of life under her belt, Ocie Viola Williams has plenty of advice to share with the world. Her top two pieces of advice: know the importance of education and don’t expect a teacher to raise your child for you. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • psst1 photo page copy.jpg PSST! finishes peachy season

    Peach State Summer Theatre concluded its 2014 season Sunday, a season which broke attendance records for the professional musical theatre company.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_2381.jpeg Award-winning young professionals share success secrets

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s MetroOne Young Professionals hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn to highlight successful business practices.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140726_summerlibrary002.jpg Library celebrates end of summer reading program

    With the first day of school just around the corner, students are soaking in the last few weeks of summer vacation. The end of summer also means the end of the South Georgia Regional Library’s 2014 summer reading program.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • artseason1 copy.jpg A sneak peek at some area arts organizations’ 2014-15 seasons

    Beethoven. Tennessee Williams. Non-stop art. Two versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 2014-15 arts season is coming.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • sabalmap.jpg Sabal Trail explains its position

    Representatives from Sabal Trail Transmission recently sat down with The Times to provide an update on the ongoing pipeline and potential economic development opportunities associated with the project.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514-MoodyComp007.jpg Moody AFB crews race in load competition

    Moody Air Force Base hosted a weapons load competition Friday morning, a maintenance group tradition in which two 23d Maintenance Group A-10 munition load crews raced against the clock to load munitions onto an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • moonshine bust.jpg Police close illegal drinking house

    After receiving numerous complaints, the Valdosta Police Department shut down an illegal alcohol sales operation Friday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results