Ricky was like a father to us as young troops in the 824th at Moody AFB. He was one of the few NCO's that we could approach with any situation and get an honest answer or advice without repercussions. He was a sponge that somehow soaked up every bit of knowledge around him and could teach the "un-teachable", never giving up on those who did not perform at the top of the class. As I write this message I remember a time in Pakistan where I almost burned down a thermal imaging station covered with a tent. We had a diesel fired furnace that I got bored and had to "mess" with. Ricky dropped by my post as usual to check on me and see if I had found any of his favorite MRE treats, and noticed a section of the wood flooring charred and a fire extinguisher expended. Instead of tearing into me, he asked me if I learned anything; to which I responded yes sir I sure did. He then said, well I guess we need to get this place cleaned up. He somehow found new flooring and another fire extinguisher in the middle of Pakistan when we didn't even have showers or real food. He realized that everybody makes a mistake, and instead of harping on it, he helped them to move on and become a better person. I am honored to have known you, and honored to have learned from you; I find great comfort knowing that we will meet again and won't need body armor to shoot the breeze. I asked Msgt Bellini to say goodbye for me tomorrow but in my own way I already have.