Richard T. Henry

Upon graduation in 1956, Hank selected the Marine Corps, and for the next 22 years experienced a joyful,  if unconventional career.  Unfortunately, in the end an illness stifled his opportunities for further promotion.


In 1970 Hank was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  He persevered with his career, ignoring the disease and treating the malady as well as contemporary medicine allowed.  As time went on, his symptoms became gradually more evident and finally could no longer be officially ignored.  For his final tour in 1977 he was assigned to a staff position and was retired on disability in 1978.


But what a career he had!  His family has a photograph taken from his first command tour of Hank together with President Kennedy, inspecting his troops.  His commanding officer tours include Marine Detachment, CINCLANTFLT;  “A” Company of the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Battalion, FMF Okinawa; Force Reconnaissance at Camp Pendleton, CA; and Company “A”, USMC Headquarters Battalion.  He qualified as a Navy diver and an Army parachutist.  In an operational test for evasion while on duty in Vietnam, Hank was successfully snatched from the ground by a Fulton Skyhook-equipped C-130 Hercules aircraft flying at 180 knots, and then reeled into the aircraft.  During that Vietnam tour he was spot-promoted to lieutenant colonel and earned a Bronze Star medal with “V” for valor.


Hank died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 2 September, 2000 at his home in Fairfax Station, VA.  He is survived by his wife Betty, sons Douglas and Paul, daughter Alice Roman, sister Barbara Coskin, one grandson and two granddaughters.