In March 1942, Richard "Dick" Fravel, 22 years old, decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. His 3 brothers, James, Allen, and Walter also joined the Army.
Before enlisting, Dick was worried; he met with his pastor to talk with him about the issue of shooting at another human being. After this decisive discussion, Dick Fravel began his army training.
He started at Fort Bragg, NC and joined the 82nd Airborne at Camp Claiborne, LA, where he continued his hard training. He was assigned to the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment later that year and sent to England.
In 1943, Dick was near Naples, Italy and engaged in heavy fighting. He covered the retreat of his platoon after they were attacked by the Germans. For this act, Dick won the Silver Star on October 18th, 1943 which was given to him by Major General Ridgway (Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division).