Aaron Lynn Rich
July 24, 1946 – December 12, 2018
Aaron was born to George and Marie Rich on July 24, 1946 in Ord, Nebraska. Aaron was the oldest of six children; with three brothers and two sisters. When Aaron was eight years old, his family moved to Sifton, Washington where he later graduated from Evergreen High School in 1964. He enlisted in the US Army in June of 1966 and graduated from rotary wing flight school (helicopter) in June of 1967. At that time he was commissioned to Warrant Officer CW1. He served in Vietnam from August 1967 to March 1968. Aaron was severely wounded in combat on March 16, 1968. He retired from the US Army on medical in February 1970 and then he was commissioned to CW2. Aaron was devoted to his service in the Army and saddened when it was cut short due to being injured in combat. He stated many times that he would do it all over again and has no regrets. Aaron met Georgia on October 26, 1968 and the two were married on March 16, 1969. The couple had three daughters: Tracy, Ginger and Tina. Aaron and Georgia later adopted Michael in 2003. Aaron is survived by his lovely wife, Georgia; three daughters and one son; nine grandchildren: Bradley, Brianna, Connor, Nolan, Michael, Alejandro, Sierra, Nicholas, and Joselyn; and three great-grandchildren: Bentley, Annastasia and Scarlet Rose. Aaron enjoyed reading, conversations related to flying and loved his family immensely. He had quite the green thumb and during a huge part of their lives, Aaron and Georgia had a garden big enough to sustain most of their family’s food needs. Aaron would garden, and Georgia would do all the canning. Every year, Aaron would make sure his pumpkins were planted before anything else. It was important to him to have pumpkins ready for his grandkids. Since 1977 when his children were in grade school, Aaron started the tradition of hand-delivering a single rose to all his children on Valentine’s Day. This was a tradition he continued with his grandchildren. Aaron was a very reserved and quiet man. He was meticulous and loved everything done to perfection. He was extremely knowledgeable about history and very intelligent in general. He was a life member of the 281st AHC (Assault Helicopter Company) and the VHPA (Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Association). He was a legacy life member of the VFW, through VFW Post 4278. He worked for Horizon Air from March 1984 until he retired in August of 2015. Donations may be made to the 281st AHC Scholarship Fund. Information can be found under “scholarships” at 281st.com. A second options for donations is to VFW Post 4278. These may be sent to VFW Post 4278, PO Box 579, Camas, WA 98607. A committal service will be held for Aaron at 1pm on Wednesday, December 19th at Willamette National Cemetery followed by a memorial service the next day at 11am at Evergreen Bible Church.
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Aaron Lynn Rich
June 18, 2019
My Uncle was the best ever. He taught me so much and always made me feel important when I was growing up. He provided the best example of what a man should be.
December 19, 2018
To: The family of Aaron Rich:
Georgia, and children; On Behalf of the members of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company Association I would like to express our deepest sympathies for the loss of Aaron, your loving husband, and father.
Fifty years ago Aaron and I joined the 281st at about the same time and I had the honor of serving with him throughout my service with the unit. In the Vietnam war, Aaron, along with a few hundred other young men drew the most dangerous jobs of the war; flying and maintaining helicopters that supported Special Operations of the 5th Special Forces Group, who operated in the remote areas of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Within this group of exceptional young men, Aaron stood out. He was a calm individual who believed in what he was doing and took his assignments seriously.
Aaron had a deep respect for his fellow soldiers, without regard to their duty position or rank, and in turn, we all held him in high esteem. He was a team player and could be counted on to accomplish the most difficult and dangerous missions successfully. He accomplished each assignment with the same steady and quiet professionalism that became his trademark in life.
Aaron and his fellow Intruders wrote the book on helicopter support of special operations. In developing the pages of history, Aaron was a living example of the best of the best. I speak for all the Intruders when I say, serving with Aaron in war and knowing him in later life was a privilege and a high honor. He was our friend and a leader of men that we all respected and looked up to.
We believe that “A MAN IS NOT DEAD UNTIL HE IS FORGOTTEN”. Rest in peace Aaron; we shall remember and honor you forever.
John W. (Jack) Mayhew Intruder 06. 1967-68
December 18, 2018
Another Intruder gone too soon. Aaron was a fixture at our reunions and I enjoyed visiting with him. I served in the 281st after him and came home with none of the scars he carried but we were still comrades in arms. He will be missed.