Monday, December 31, 2012

Command Sgt. Major Richard Gossard, United States Army, Ret.

Richard Marion James Gossard was born December 21, 1925 at Urbana, Illinois.  He passed away November 5, 2012, at the age of 86, in Temple, Texas after an extended bout with cancer.

Richard proudly served his country in the United States Army for more than thirty years.  His service included duty in World War II, the Korean War and  Vietnam.  His distinguished career brought him many campaign medals and countless awards and decorations.

Richard met his dear wife, Hazel, in Idaho after his return from World War II and they've been married for 67 years.  Richard retired from the Army in 1979 and retired to the family home in Killeen, Texas, where they had lived since1959.

A funeral service was held on November 9 at the Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen, Texas.  In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags at the entrance to welcome the arriving family and friends.

After the service, the Riders led the procession to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, south of Killeen, where the family was greeted by fifty American flags, blowing briskly in the southerly Texas wind.

After the flag draped casket was moved from the hearse to the committal shelter, the Riders formed a line of American flags around two sides of the shelter, as a minister led the family in final prayers.

The United States Army Honor Detail rendered full military honors.  The detail of five rifles fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country, followed by the mournful notes of taps.

The flag that covered the casket was folded into the traditional triangle, passed to a Non-Commissioned Officer, and presented to Richard's dearly beloved wife, on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for his honorable and faithful service.

CSM Richard Marion James Gossard was laid to rest on the wind swept plain of the cemetery as the American flag flew at half-staff on the hill above in his honor.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, a son, two daughters, seven grand children, two great-grandchildren and Bambi, his favorite little dog.


I was that which others did not want to be.

I went where others feared to go,
and did what others failed to do.

I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, 
and reluctantly accepted the
thought of eternal loneliness..should I fail.

I have see the face of terror;
felt the stinging cold of fear;
and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment's love.

I have cried, pained, and hoped...but most of all,
I have lived times others
would say were best forgotten.

At least someday I will be able to say
that I was proud of what I was
...a soldier.

George L. Skypeck

With thanks to Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home for biographical information and photograph.

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