Richard S. Tibbetts
Award: Veterans' Hall of Fame
Richard Steven Tibbetts was born on February 17, 1947 at the Rockaway Beach Hospital in Queens, New York, and is the third of five children born to Frank and Mary Tibbetts. After spending his early life in South Ozone Park, Queens, Richard and his family relocated to Lindenhurst, on suburban Long Island, New York. The close-knit nature of the Tibbetts family instilled in Richard the morals and values that would successfully carry him through life’s challenges to become the model citizen he is today.
A proud product of the Lindenhurst School District, Richard graduated from the Lindenhurst High School Annex, an all-boys trade school where he excelled in learning the skills he would use to build his career. Richard’s education went far beyond the classroom, however, and he gained a deep appreciation for the meaning of teamwork and comradery alongside his peers on the football, wrestling, and both the indoor and outdoor track teams.
After graduating, Richard began his career as a machinist at the Cardwell Condenser Corporation. His experience there would be short-lived, however, as on November 1, 1966 Richard was called to duty in the United States Army. Taking the Oath of Enlistment alongside his brothers-in-arms was a transformative moment for Richard, and would remain with him forever. Richard received basic and advanced infantry training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and quickly found himself entrenched in the Vietnam war, serving for approximately one year in the “Big Red One” First Infantry Division. Richard’s service continued until November, 1972, when he was Honorably Discharged from the Army.
For his service in Vietnam, Richard was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Sharp Shooter Rifle Badge, and a Purple Heart. Richard’s allegiance to his newfound brothers did not end with his return home, however, and he joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in 1968. Now retired from a 40 year career as an electrician, Richard is using his time to become more involved in the VFW, including founding the VFW motorcycle riders District Level in 2009. Richard’s dedication to the VFW is most evident in his unparalleled reigns as Commander. First elected in 1995, Richard then went on to serve 8 more successful administrations as Commander.
As testament to the quality of his leadership, Richard was recently re-elected as Commander for the upcoming 2010-11 term, and was selected to serve as the Grand Marshall of the 2010 Lindenhurst Memorial Day Parade. In his personal life, Richard met his wife, Christine, and has been married for some 20 years. He was, and still is, an integral and vital part of helping Christine raise 5 children of her own. Richard often reflects on how meeting Christine was the “best thing that ever happened to me.” Richard Steven Tibbetts, once a soldier, forever a hero.