He served in the military almost 70 years ago! Our October 2022 NFM Salute honors a national treasure, Navy Veteran Dick Pard

Full Transcript is Below:

– Welcome into our October 2022 NFM Salute. I’m your host, Greg Sher. We are going to honor a Navy Veteran today. It is Dick Pard, who is just 30 minutes outside of Phoenix, Arizona in a town called San Tan Valley. And Dick is with us right now. You served in the Navy from May 24th, 1954 to May 27th, 1957. That was quite some time ago. We can’t wait to hear your stories. But first, Dick, I wanna thank you for being with us, and I wanna thank you for your service.

– Thank you as well for interviewing me.

– And at the ripe, young age of 86 years old, I must say, you look phenomenal.

– Thank you so much.

– I wanna talk to you about your time serving overseas. This was in the mid-fifties and you were aboard the USS Bremerton. What was that experience like?

– Well, my brother was serving aboard the USS Bremerton so I just joined him aboard ship. And so we would work 24/7 all the time we were at sea. We’d sailed all over the Pacific, and on the second cruise, we went to the Olympics in Australia.

– So, you were on the same ship as your brother?

– Yes. Yeah, we were eight boys and three girls in the family. And Bert was the next oldest to me.

– [Greg] And of those children, seven of them served. A big military commitment by your family, so, we certainly thank you and everybody else.

– The one you missed is my dad was in the first World War in Europe with two of his stepbrothers, and then seven of the eight of us were in the Army and Navy.

– Dick, you used the word “cruise,” and when I think of “cruise,” I think of buffets, swimming pools, and musical bands. But it probably wasn’t quite like that when you were on your “cruise.” Tell us what it was like to be on a ship.

– Well, instead of swimming pools, we had the Pacific Ocean as our big pool, and as far as buffets, we stood in line on the mess decks to get fed two or three times a day depending on what was going on. I did ports like Hawaii and Hong Kong and our home port in Japan was Yakusta. We did through the south to Singapore and all over the South Pacific.

– You mentioned, depending on what was going on. Share with us what some of your exercises and duties were at that time.

– We sailed a lot between China and Taiwan, and I think most of the time it was keeping China from invading Taiwan, which in the current time they’re trying to do it again.

– You participated in an Honor Flight across the United States with so many other Veterans of various wars. And this was September the 13th of 2022, so just a few days ago. You came across the United States into BWI Airport in Baltimore, where you then spent a day checking out various memorials and all the great museums in Washington, DC. You were honored that evening for your service. What did that experience mean to you?

– It meant a great deal. My nephew and his wife and daughter were there as well, and I hadn’t seen them since they were in Arizona seeing his son play hockey for Oklahoma. So, it was kind of a family reunion as well as a military reunion.

– Did the experience of being in Washington, DC, seeing the memorials, was that moving for you?

– Yes, it was. The first one we visited was the Navy Museum, and that’s the service that I served in. It was exciting. We saw the museums for the Army, the Air Force, Korea, Vietnam. Myself or family has served in all of them.

– Let’s talk about what you do in your spare time when you’re not being honored and flown across the United States. I know that you were an avid golfer until COVID hit, but you haven’t been on the links in some time. You’re an avid movie watcher as well. I understand that your favorite actor is John Wayne and your favorite movie, “McLintock.” Why do you love that movie and that actor?

– I’ve seen just about every movie he’s ever made, and he’s had a career of about 50 years or something making movies. And I think “McLintock” had another one of my favorite actors playing his estranged wife. It was kind a family type of film.

– I wanna just talk to you for a moment about your wife. You married in 1958 and she passed away six years ago. Just give us a minute about your wife.

– Well, she was a great chef. Anytime we’d have guests over, they’d just rave about the cooking she did.

– We always donate $2,500 to the charity of our Veteran’s choice, and you have chosen for the $2,500 to go to the Veterans Club at Encanterra, which is a facility that houses Veterans. You’re one of the Veterans that it houses. What does that facility mean to you?

– Oh, it means a great deal because I belong to the Veterans Group here ever since I had my home built and moved in. So, I wanna support the club that I belong to.

– Navy Veteran Dick Pard. Thank you for your service and thanks for joining us on NFM TV.

– Thank you so much.

– Hope you’ve enjoyed this NFM Salute. I’m NFM TV’s Greg Sher. We’ll see you again next time.