Death, no matter when or how it comes, is an inevitable part of life, yet we're never prepared to say goodbye to a family member or friend.

This month, we had to do just that. We said, "until we meet again" to a member of the Civil Air Patrol and long-time supporter of Wreaths Across America.

Richard Gammon was born May 17, 1943, in the Widow Brown’s Tavern, later Barrett’s Farm, a historic part of the history of Concord, Massachusetts. Upon graduating from Concord-Carlisle High School, he joined the U.S. Air Force. He would go on to marry his wife Marcia, and they welcomed the birth of their daughter Brenda while stationed in the Netherlands. They returned stateside, and Rick retired from the Airforce in 1983. He and his family eventually settled in Maine where Rick began a broadcasting career working in radio and television.

For years, Rick served as a driver for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) before suffering a massive heart attack in 2006. He was brought back from the brink of death by the firefighters and paramedics of the Bangor Fire Department, station 6. For the next 11 years, Rick would show all who knew and loved him what it meant to live life to the fullest.

In October of 2007, Rick joined the Bangor-Brewer Squadron of Civil Air Patrol as a logistics officer. He served in the position for several years and was recognized by the squadron and the Maine Wing for running one of the best logistics programs in the Wing. In October of 2014, Maj Gammon accepted the position of Squadron Commander for the Bangor squadron.  This position required him to lead 40 plus members to achieve the missions of Civil Air Patrol. Maj Gammon connected to his staff and cadets both personally and professionally and assisted all of us in becoming better people.

On top of the day to day duties of running a squadron, Maj Gammon became a mission scanner and observer flying fire watch missions.  

The Civil Air Patrol Cadets meant the world to Rick. For three years he accompanied cadets to Arlington National Cemetery and assisted with laying wreaths at the cemetery. This trip changed the lives of many cadets, and in fact, his daughter Brenda shared with us one cadet credits Rick with preventing his suicide attempt.

CAP Lt. Col Cathie Spaulding said, "Maj Richard Gammon’s accomplishments were truly outstanding and reflected great credit upon himself, Maine Wing and the Civil Air Patrol." 

What we will all remember most and cherish forever is Rick's positive attitude and sense of humor on display here in one of his many "photobomb" opportunities.

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This video was produced back in October of 2015 when I had the privilege and honor to fly with Maj Rick Gammon and Col James Jordan.

Maj Rick Gammon has become and will continue to be one of the 100 Reasons Why We Remember, Honor, and Teach as we Countdown to Wreath Day.

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