Our weekly series Remembering Our Veterans continues with the story of a former U.S. Marine.

McDowell High School graduate Richard Williams is now 76 years old. Williams served 18 months in Vietnam and four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. When his tour of duty ended, he continued to serve his community.

Williams was inspired by his dad, a World War II Veteran.

"I was an aircraft launch recovery technician with an outfit that they called SATs, Short Airfields, Tactical Support. We actually built mini-airports a thousand feet long, one runway with a catapult on one end and arresting gear halfway down. In 18 months, we did like 7,000 catches but I also saw a lot of things I didn't want to see," said Williams. "We were afraid of the Chinese, we were afraid of Russians. We're afraid, you know, we weren't the only ones in that war, we didn't do enough."

His father wrote letters to Richard and his twin brother, who just passed away in the first week of November.

"I have a picture someplace in the house of my dad standing in front of the HOG board that they called it, where each platoon records their accomplishments in boot camp. You know, rifle rings and stuff like that," said Williams. "And he's standing here, my brother and I are, and he's giving him this. And that's one of my favorite pictures."

He was an Erie Police officer for 19 years when he responded to an incident and suffered a severe head injury. And he never returned to work.

"I loved it. The best part was the fact that I was the head of the Explorer Post for ten years, something I created," said Williams. 

Richard's family included five brothers and seven sisters.

Richard Williams thank you for your tour of duty in Vietnam and with the Erie Police Department.