Richard was born in 1931. After graduating from college in 1954, he was commissioned in the Air Force as a Navigator/Fighter Intercept Officer. Once he completed active duty in 1958, he entered the USAF Reserve/Air National Guard and flew five missions to Viet Nam. Richard retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1992. Professionally, Richard spent over 40 years in the insurance industry first working for Royal Insurance Company and later for Roanoke Brokerage Services.