Remacle receives VFW Lifetime Achievement Award
On June 10th, at the 85th Annual Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Boise, Department of Idaho, the Idaho state commander, Terry Thomas, announced that Dick Remacle was chosen by a select committee to receive the coveted Lifetime Achievement award. Dick is a member of the Richard Jacobs VFW Post 4902, based in Cottonwood.
Post commander, Joe Riener, said there is no greater honor for a commander, than to present this prestigious award. Dick Remacle is very deserving, and I hope the entire community will take the time to congratulate Idaho’s newest Lifetime Achievement award winner!
Following is the essay submitted nominating Remacle for the award:
VFW Lifetime Achievement Award
Dick Remacle was born June 24, 1935, in Cottonwood, Idaho. He was a great local young man who showed exceptional values. Upon high school graduation, he went to work as a timber logger until he was 23. He was drafted by the USArmy into the post ceasefire occupation of Korea,on April 1st, 1960. He first reported for basic training at Fort Ord, California, and later completed training at Camp Roberts, California. Dick’s four brothers also served: Larry, Henry, and Ken Remacle served in the United States Army, and his brother Phil was in the Recruit Officer Training Corps while attending college at the University of Idaho. Dick’s son, Bill Remacle served six years in the United States Navy, and is a Persian Gulf War veteran, and now a member of the Cottonwood VFW post, just like his Dad. Dick’s nephew Charles Remacle served in the U.S. Air Force. Military service is a long tradition for the Remacle family!
After basic training he boarded the USS Mann, a troop transport headed for Japan. However, Dick almost didn’t make it to Japan. Three days out of Yokohama, Japan, the ship encountered a typhoon, rendering the port waters too dangerous to attempt a docking. For three days the ship circled, tossed about violently by the typhoon ravaged south Pacific. The troops were quarantined below decks for the first few days, and eventually allowed above decks for some “fresh air,” and to clear the over-full latrines. Dick said, “I got a look over the railing off the fantail of the ship, and it pitched so hard in the pounding waves, that I saw the ship’s propeller come completely out of the water!”
After indoctrination in Japan, Dick was sent north to Korea, and assigned to the 27th Ordinance Battalion, 1st Cavalry, as part of the South Korean post ceasefire occupation force patrolling the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), established at the 38th parallel between north and south Korea.
After a thirteen-month tour on the DMZ, Dick returned to the United States and was assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas, located just north of Interstate Highway 70, and east of scenic lake Milford, home of the Army’s 1st Cavalry, also known as the now famous Big Red One. Dick, as many soldiers did, frequented the Kansas coffee shops, where a particularly charming young lady behind the counter caught his eye. Mary Catherine, who Dick quickly found out went by Katie, also noticed him and seemed to take an interest in this handsome soldier from the wilds of Idaho. Katie, coming from a strict Catholic family, and community, was warned to shy away from the untamed soldier. Not to be deterred, Dick had to prove he was a Catholic before Katie would go out with him. They formed a blossoming romance; however, on April 1st, 1960, April Fools Day, Dick was discharged from the Army and could return home to Idaho. It was his intention to take a Kansas treasure home with him, the lovely miss Katie, and that’s just what he did! Dick and Katie were married in Kansas on September 16, 1961, and moved to Cottonwood, Idaho, to begin their lives together and start a family. Dick returned to his first profession, logging, and worked in the woods for a total of 49 years. Immediately upon his return home, he began serving as an honor guard member.
Dick served post ceasefire in Korea, so was barred for many years from joining the VFW; however, as soon as the policy changed to include these deserving Korean military veterans, he signed up for a Life Membership. Dick is an active member of the rifle squad of the combined VFW and American Legion honor guard. He always answers the call to honor a fallen comrade, or serve at parades, sporting events, and special ceremonies. It doesn’t matter if it is raining, snowing sideways, or freezing cold, Dick is always present for honor duty! His uniform fits him today as well as it did the day he separated from active duty, nearly 56 years ago!
Dick serves a critical role in Post 4902, as a licensed Federal Firearms dealer. Each year the post conducts a raffle, with the top prize of a superior quality firearm. The raffle tickets gross sales each year add $4,000 to the post funds. This is the largest fundraiser for the Cottonwood based VFW post, and provides the lifeblood of operations. With a proud smile, Dick said, “my wife Katie sells more tickets than I do, every year.” She is a top-seller of the VFW raffle tickets! Dick Remacle and his family support the VFW with a zeal and dedication unheard of and rarely seen. His many years of service are the benchmark for others to achieve. Dick’s legacy of service is admirable and deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award. His service to the VFW, community, and the United States of America continues today!
The USS Mann, a troop transport that took Dick Remacle to Japan.