Taking care of his veteran peers, serving the community and being a part of the Patriot Guard motorcycle riders to provide veterans an honorable burial has allowed Amboy American Legion Adjutant Rick Halle to continue to serve after retiring from the U.S. Air Force.
Halle was a crew chief / aircraft mechanic in the Air Force for almost five years years, serving from 1984 to 1989.
He was fresh into life when he joined the military, having just finished high school. Halle said his pre-service life was a regular “being-a-teen” life. While in the Air Force in 1985, Halle got married, and he has been together with his wife since 1985, and they share three children.
With the American Legion Tum Tum Post in Amboy, Halle has enjoyed the patriotic community and feels like he receives great community support, especially around Veterans Day.
“Veterans Day to me is a day set aside to make sure that everyone remembers our veterans so that they can be working to take care of them,” Halle said. “Memorial Day is different. Memorial Day is to take care of our veterans that have fallen, whereas Veterans Day is to take care of our veterans that are still here and the ones that have fallen as well.”
With the American Legion, Halle treats day-to-day life like Veterans Day as he helps serve his peers and community in multiple ways.
Halle and the Tum Tum Post recently helped a struggling veteran who was experiencing homelessness get back on his feet and established, he said.
Halle has also recently helped return a set of lost dog tags belonging to a veteran in Arkansas.
For the American Legion Tum Tum Post, Halle serves as adjutant, secretary for their chapter of American Legion Riders, as well as the local commander for the Sons of the American Legion.
With all that he does, Halle believes his most important role is giving fallen veterans an honorable burial.
He said one of his passions is making sure veterans are treated better than they were after returning from Vietnam.
“That’s something that we’ve got to fix and never have happen again,” he said. “My thing that I probably have worked the hardest on is making sure that our veterans get honored properly when they go to their final resting place.”
As a road captain and secretary for the American Legion Riders, Halle has helped outfit the group so they can perform full burial honors. Halle has formed a full-rifle team for 21-gun salutes, made sure they have enough flags for flag foldings and more.
As the American Legion is a non-profit organization, Halle stressed the importance of community donations as membership costs do not cover the overhead. To make a donation or more information about the American Legion Amboy Tum Tum Post No. 168, visit amboytumtumpost168.org.