RICHARD SILVA Sergeant, US Marine Corps (USMC)
Sgt. Richard Silva enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and graduated in January of 2001, as an armorer. In February 2004, he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, where he was attached to a Marine Recon Unit, and sent into dangerous enemy territory. He spent months in hostile combat environments, living in harsh weather conditions, and constantly under attack from enemy forces. Such perilous encounters created a bond between Silva and his men, uniting them as brothers in many ways. Despite the numerous challenges that he and his men faced on a daily basis, they managed to stay focused on the mission, putting the welfare of the Nation before their own.
On July 30, 2004, Silva and his men encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) whilst driving a Humvee, killing Lance Corporal Aguilar. On August 15th, Private First Class Geoffrey Perez made the ultimate sacrifice, saving Silva’s life by giving his own. Just two days later on August 17, Sergeant Silva and Corporal Powers were attacked by Mortars and Rocket Propelled Grenades, and relentless enemy fire. It was on that day that Corporal Powers gave his life, leaving Silva critically wounded from the shrapnel of the rockets, and the impact of the blasts that landed dangerously close to him. Silva was medically evacuated and returned stateside as the only survivor from his unit.
Four years later in April of 2008, with the help and support of his encouraging family, Silva was medically retired as a Purple Heart recipient and Bronze Star nominee.
Silva’s dedication to his country and selfless sacrifice has impacted his life, and the lives of those close to him. Upon returning from his deployment, Silva honored the sacrifice made by PFC Perez by naming his first son, Richard Perez Silva, Jr. (RJ for short). Every day he continues to be a loving husband, an extraordinary father, and a true inspiration to fellow wounded veterans.
Sgt. Richard Silva is a loving husband to his supportive wife, Carmen, of twenty five years. After marrying his high school sweetheart, they began a family together, having four children; Maura, a 25 year old college student pursuing a medical degree, Sarah, a 23 year old Military Police Officer in the United States Army, RJ, a nine year old who plays competitive hockey, and Urijah, a talkative and social two year old boy who loves to play hockey with his older brother. Silva’s loyal service dog, Charlie, completes his family.
Richard joined the Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) family in 2016 when he was surprised with the donation of a modified Can Am Spider as part of our VCR Moto Dono Program, presented and delivered by VCR Honorary Chairman, Jay Leno. Moto Dono Surprise
In February of 2017, Richard participated in our Well Vet Program, achieving stellar results and changing his life forever.
“When I started the Well Vet Program I was taking about 26 medications, and weighed 266 lbs. Today I am down to 229 lbs., and taking only six medications. The Well Vet Program has truly changed my life.”