SPRINGDALE, Wash. – For one Springdale family, this year’s Memorial Day celebration carries more memory than past years.
Members of the Richardson family took turns standing and telling the stories of their late veteran, Donald Richardson.
Richardson served two tours in the Vietnam War.
“He knew everything about how to load an airplane, where to send the cargo and what stuff had priority,” said Donald’s brother Dale Richardson.
In January, Donald died from complications of health issues his family believes developed while he was serving overseas.
“Agent Orange. That’s going to get every one of us Vietnam guys eventually. It’s a tragedy,” Dale said.
The veteran knew the sacrifice he was making but his country was his priority.
“I can remember him telling me that he had to join [the military] because he said, ‘I wanted to be right there to save everybody,’” said his wife Cathy Richardson.
The American Legion and Veteran’s Honor Guard presented the late veteran with military honors.
“All of us veterans want that,” Dale said.
“It means everything. He was an awesome guy and he served his country,” Cathy added.
Following the memorial service was a spaghetti dinner and silent auction to raise money for the veteran’s family.