Army Master Sergeant Richard L. Ferguson
Born: September 9, 1958
Fallen: March 30, 2004
Army Master Sergeant Richard L. Ferguson grew up in Coventry, RI. He was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, Fort Carson, CO. He became one of RI’s fallen heroes when the military vehicle he was riding in rolled over in Samarra, Iraq on March 30, 2004.
Master Sgt. Ferguson, a native of Coventry, RI, was with the Army’s Special Forces unit at Fort Carson, CO, had served in Bosnia, Germany, Iraq, and elsewhere, but his missions and deployments were often kept secret. “What went on, he left at work or with the guys,” said his father. “When he came home, he laughed, he joked, he went camping with the kids, he went on trips, he worked around the house.”
He joined the Army, becoming a career military man. “Once he got in, he loved it and he stayed with it. That was his home,” he father said. He was also a history buff, and spent 20 years putting together a family tree tracing his roots back to the 1700s, the family said. In his early days in the Army, Ferguson had premonitions about his death. He’d wake up in a cold sweat after bad dreams, his brother recalled.
Ferguson’s Rhode Island family members remember him for his dedication and bravery. “He was strong-willed,” his father recalled. “Once he got in, he loved it and he stayed with it. That was his home.”
Despite being a member of an elite military force, Ferguson was humble, more often found in fatigues than in his dress uniform. He turned down a promotion that would have taken him out of the field, his father said.
“He wasn’t a person to stand out there and say, ‘Look what I did,’ ” his father said. “He liked being in the field. He was behind the scenes. He was a team leader.” His father would sometimes spot his son on television, recognizing Richard by the way he walked or moved his hand or held a cigarette.
Master Sergeant Richard L. Ferguson is survived by his parents, his wife, a brother, and a sister, who all still reside in Coventry, and his 4 children.