Last RI National Guard Member To Serve In Vietnam Retires

Nov 6, 2013

The last Rhode Island National Guardsman who first served in Vietnam has retired. Cpt. Richard Gaudet has been serving his country on and off for more than 40 years.


Now retired, U.S. Army Captain Richard Gaudet first joined the Army as a 17-year-old, that was in 1971. He was part of an aviation support unit in Vietnam. He then joined the Army Reserves, then after 9-11 he re-enlisted working as a training instructor with two deployments to Afghanistan. Gaudet turns 60 soon, the age mandatory retirement kicks in.

“I would love to serve another 20 years,” said Gaudet. “It’s just not possible, you know, it takes its toll on your body and it’s time for me to move on to a new career.”

That new career is as a civilian contractor teaching troops how to use military equipment. He jokes that he’ll never really leave the military.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.