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By Hope Racine
Copyright 2014 The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.
After dedicating 65 years of his life to the Marines, Richard Govoni will finally take a break.
The 84-year-old was sent off on Tuesday in a retirement service at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, with dozens of friends, family and high-ranking officials from the Pentagon in attendance.
Govoni joined the Marine Corps in 1948, fresh out of high school. Having grown up during World War II, Govoni had always planned on enlisting.
“I was in seventh grade when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor,” Govoni said. “I remember sitting in our auditorium and hearing the declaration of war. It was a different time back then. I felt it was my patriotic duty, and that’s a spirit you just don’t see anymore. It’s all about political divisions now.”
Govoni served on active duty in the Marines for 23 years, during which he was deployed multiple times, including twice in Vietnam. During his time on active duty, Govoni earned the distinction of being one of the few men to fly almost every type of aircraft the Marine Corps had.
In addition, Govoni served as Marine air traffic control officer. Govoni was the last Marine Avionics officer to hold this position, as it is now manned exclusively by air traffic controllers.