Army Veteran Richard Herrema is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Richard Herrema, who was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom and has a foundation in his memory.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Richard Herrema graduated from Unity Christian High School. He then enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in January 1999.

He originally served with B Company, 3rd Battalion, 327th Infantry Brigade, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Herrema later promoted to a squad leader in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, with the same unit. In June 2003, Herrema graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course as an 18D Special Forces Medical Sergeant. He then became an instructor in G Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Herrema deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and died April 25, 2006, during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq. His parents, Richard and Mary Herrema, and his sisters, Katie Lynn and Janie Lynn Herrema, survived him.

During his service, Herrema received two Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals and two Army Good Conduct Medals. He also received a Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, a Parachutist Badge, an Air Assault Badge, a Special Forces tab and Ranger tabs.

Herrema promoted to sergeant first class and received a Bronze Star Medal for valor, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge, all posthumously.

Following his death, the Rick Herrema Foundation and Rick’s Place recreation center were created. The Rick Herrema Foundation aims to combat the disconnect between military deployment and reintegration services for active duty members and their families. To accomplish this, the foundation helps members build their community and supports relationships. It hosts group activities at Rick’s Place aimed to improve quality of life, reduce stress and strengthen relationships within a community.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: John Byrne

Editor: Em Thampoe

Fact checker: Monique Quihuis

Graphic artist: Austin Waters

Share this story

Published on Aug. 17, 2020

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 150

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network August 18, 2020 at 8:47 am

    We honor the service of Richard Herrema.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Army Veteran Hank Welzel served in the Korean War, but his military experience began in the German Army during World War II.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Ronald L. Green, who was the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.

  • Navy Veteran Calvin Leon Graham became the youngest World War II soldier at the age of 12, and the youngest recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.