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Meet the Member Richard Homm
story by Rob Shilaikis
Richard Homm has announced rodeos since 1988. When he first started, he mostly announced local and Little Britches Rodeos for Hudson Rodeo Company. In 2000 he got his PRCA card, working in Colorado, Kansas and Wisconsin. “Probably the highlight of all I have done in rodeo was when I worked with Wayne Wise from Greeley and announced the WNFR live on radio in 2002,” said Richard.
Born and raised on the family ranch in Burlington, Colo., the Homm’s raised Herford cattle and grew wheat and corn. Richard graduated from Burlington High School in 1967 and was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 during the Vietnam War. “Even though I was drafted, I wasn’t going to sidestep my responsibility so I went.” He went through basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, becoming an Indirect Fire Infantryman or better known as an 11 Charlie. The Army then sent Richard through Military Intelligence training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, before shipping him off to Vietnam for the next 12 months. Richard was attached to the 101st Airborne, Combat Infantry. The 101st Airborne Division “Screaming Eagles” is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord (the D-Day landings and airborne jumps starting 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France), Operation Market Garden, the liberation of the Netherlands and action during the Battle of the Bulge around the city of Bastogne, Belgium. During the Vietnam War, the 101st Airborne Division fought in several major campaigns and battles including the fight for Firebase Ripcord in 1970 of which Richard was a part of.
During the 23-day siege, 75 U.S. servicemen were killed. Fighting from four hilltops, surrounded, and outnumbered nearly ten to one, U.S. forces caused heavy losses on eight enemy battalions before an aerial withdrawal under heavy mortar, anti-aircraft, and small arms fire. When asked about the intense fighting and evacuation under fire all Richard would say was, “We sure as heck were trying to get the hell out of there.” For his service to our Nation, among other medals Richard was presented the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB). The CIB is awarded to infantrymen and Special Forces soldiers who personally fought in active ground combat.
After being discharged in 1971, Richard returned to the family farm and worked there until 1979 when he became an Insurance Agent. In 1998 he became a Crop Insurance Adjuster which he still enjoys today. Richard also obtained his Associates Degree in Agribusiness.
Richard’s competitive rodeo life includes some tie down roping and team roping over the years. Like a lot of cowboys he doesn’t travel too far to compete. He is a current member of the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association (KPRA) where he competes in team roping. He found out about the Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association (PAFRA) late in 2011 through Paul Brittain. “In 2013 I roped at the PAFRA Finals with Ray Hodgsen. I really had a good finals and ended up as the Reserve World Champion Header,” said Richard. That very same year he also gave back to the association by being elected as the PAFRA Team Roping Event Director. In April of 2014, Richard’s new head horse fell on him breaking his collar bone and six ribs. The accident put him out for most of the 2014 season. He did get healthy enough to qualify for the 2014 PAFRA World Finals and turned steers for Joe Copeland, helping Joe win Reserve World Champion on the heel end. Though down, but never out, his competitive edge earned him third overall on the head end when the dust settled.
So if you hear Richard Homm announcing your rodeo, walk up to him, shake his hand and thank him for his service. He is a true patriot. It’s because of men like him that we have the opportunities we enjoy today.