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Ritch, Peter J.

Pete Ritch was born in Brooklyn, New York. He has lived in Huntsville for almost fourteen years and has two children and five grand children. The day following his college graduation Pete received a draft notice and on that same day he joined the United States Marine Corps. After he completed OCS and specialty training, Pete arrived in Vietnam in October of 1968. On February 22, 1969, this Marine Corps officer distinguished himself against a platoon size force of North Vietnamese Regulars who were attacking his armored column with automatic weapons fire. Disregarding his own safety, he exposed himself to intense enemy fire while skillfully manning his .50 caliber machine gun to suppress enemy fire threatening infantry personnel riding on the back of his vehicle. After clearing the hazardous area he again exposed himself to hostile fire and deployed his tanks and used supporting fire from his units 90mm weapons to allow the infantry to deploy. At the risk of his own life, he ensured the safety of others. For his actions Pete was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor. Pete was also awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor during his service in Vietnam.