Richard Johnson - Nominee.jpg


Richard Johnson

While in the Army, Richard Johnson spent 12 days as a POW during Operation Enduring Freedom before managing to escape with his first sergeant. For the rest of his 11-year military career and afterward, he made himself available to anyone who needed him. Today Richard is a member of not just one service organization but three, volunteering for the VFW, the Ruritans and the American Legion. Despite having some physical ailments, he says there are a lot of veterans worse off than he is, so he’s going to help them.

Why did you decide to stay in Hampton Roads?

I moved to Hampton Roads after being discharged from the military. My job brought me here.

Why did you decide to participate in your organization(s)?

I joined the VFW for the things we do to help other veterans and their families. I joined the Ruritans to help others in the community. I was the president of the Zone, lt. governor and now am the Zone governor for 13 clubs. I joined the American Legion and within the first two years I became hall rental manager and the third year I became post commander of post 280 in Chesapeake.

I also have my own company here in Chesapeake, helping people by instructing firearm training and concealed weapons classes. I’m also going to get started going though classes to become a Mason in the Great Bridge Masonic lodge.

What are your achievements or fond memories outside the military?

Being able to help others and show them that there are still people who care. I currently build ramps with the VFW for veterans who have a hard time getting in and out of their house. I was Paramedic of the Year when I was in the fire department.

Describe some of your military highlights.

I was a POW for 12 days in Operation Enduring Freedom and my 1st sergeant got myself and himself to escape. While in the Marine Corps, I made Staff NCO and enjoyed the many travels. Another highlight was being part of the 10th Battalion Rangers and attached with the 101st Airborne in the Army.


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