SPECIALIST 4TH CLASS RALPH JAY RIVKIND; U.S. ARMY

September 6, 1945 (Bronx, NY) – present
Married to Beverly Manne Rivkind (1947-present) on August 18,1968 in Westbury, NY
One daughter, Rachel M. Rivkind (1975-present)
Local address: 11 East Meadow Lane
Enlistment date February 16, 1967. Discharged February 15, 1973.
Serial number 52722347
Unit: 1st Infantry Division

Born to Julian (1927-1987) and Mildred (1928-1986). One sister, Linda (1953-present).


Minnechaug (Massachusetts) Regional High School, Class of ’63

Minnechaug (Massachusetts) Regional High School; 1963 baseball team

Minnechaug (Massachusetts) Regional High School; 1963 basketball team

Minnechaug (Massachusetts) Regional High School; 1963 soccer team

Photo provided by Ralph Rivkin via e-mail on November 22, 2021.

Used with permission: Wounded in action on April 19, 1968 when hit with remnants of a grenade that killed a fellow soldier near him. Grenade piece went through a cigarette case near his heart which slowed the piece down and saved his life. Who said ‘smoking kills?”


Recipient of the Bronze Star Medal. Citation reads (used with permission)

Meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces — 8/67 – 7/68 — issued October 20, 1968.


From The Norwalk Hour August 1, 1968

Red Carpet Out For GI’s Return — At 3 A.M.

The dream of returning home is the constant companion of every warrior fighting in a foreign land. That dream was especially fulfilled this morning for Specialist 4 Ralph Rivkind of 11 East Meadow Land. As the battle-hardened veteran of 12 Vietnam months reached the head of the circle which forms East Meadow Lane, he saw a large luminescent sign saying: “Welcome Home Ralph.” Proceeding into the lane toward his home, he passed the houses of sleeping neighbors whose homes were adorned with the red, white and blue highlighted by spotlights and flares in tribute to the 22-year-old who had sustained shrapnel wounds and a case of malaria during his tour of duty. It was 3 A.M. when he reached the house he has called home since his family moved here from New York state five years ago. He was astonished to see a sparkling red carpet running from the roadway to his font door. There were three flags outside the Rivkind home and Mr. and Mrs. Julian Rivkind and a sister, escorted him into the house. The sign, floodlights and carpet had been the work of the neighbors. They had been alerted to Ralph’s return by a 6 P.M. telephone call from California. The entire neighborhood gathered at the Rivkind house to celebrate until 10:30 P.M. when the family left for Idlewild Airport and Ralph. They were to visit Ralph’s best girl on the way home so the neighbors knew the return wouldn’t occur until the wee hours. They set to work building the large billboard acquiring the carpet and the welcome message. It was enough to thrill anyone, and especially Ralph. The veteran was sleeping soundly late this morning and doesn’t even know that this is being written. His parents related that he brought home a Bronze Star Medal as decoration for valor in some action which he hadn’t even told them about. He also received the Purple Heart Medal for the shrapnel wound which will not have residual effect, according to the parents. After a few days at home, Ralph will return to Fort Hood, Texas, to complete his two-year tour which ends in January. While in Vietnam, he fought in numerous large and small scale engagements all over the country while assigned to the First Infantry Division. He hopes to return to Worcester Polytechnic Institute when his duty is completed.


END

Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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