Robert William Richards, one of four Marines vilified 20 months ago by their nation’s leaders and Sergeant at Arms for the Jacksonville, North Carolina chapter of the American Infidels Motorcycle Club died last Wednesday August 13, 2014 at his home. The cause of death has not been announced.
Geoff Womack, a Houston, Texas attorney who had represented Richards during the last year and a half of his life, told the Tampa Tribune that Richard’s death was “in no way a suicide.”
Roberts was born in St. Petersburg and enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 2007. He served with the Scout Sniper platoon of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was deployed to Afghanistan three times and was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Navy Unit Commendation and two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals.
He was severely wounded in the neck, foot and back when a roadside bomb exploded near him during his second tour of duty. He was redeployed a year later.
While serving in Helmand Province on July 27, 2011 Richards and three other Marines urinated on four dead Taliban. The urination was video recorded and after the four Marines returned home a copy of the video circulated among troops serving at Camp Lejeune. The recording was uploaded to YouTube in January 2012 and immediately became a sensation,
It was widely reported that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos wanted the four men “crushed.” Richards was demoted from Sergeant to Corporal after a summary court martial a year ago and was almost immediately given a medical discharge.
Richards is survived by his wife, Raechel; his mother, Cate Richards; his maternal grandparents, retired Army Colonel Bill Collins and Ann Collins; his paternal grandmother, M.D. Richards; his in-laws and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
There will be a viewing this Thursday, August 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Anderson-McQueen Family Tribute Center, 2201 Martin Luther King Street North in St. N., St. Petersburg, Florida. A graveside funeral service with full military honors will be held at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, August 22, 2014, at Bay Pines National Cemetery.
Those who knew him remember he was a selfless leader, a dedicated Marine, and a faithful friend.
Robert William Richards was just 28. He deserved better.
Requiscant In Pace.