2010 Annual Meeting and Symposium
Vietnam Re-visited

Symposium and Annual Business Meeting of the North Carolina Military Historical Society
May 15, 2010, NC Museum of History, Raleigh, NC

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Vietnam Service Ribbon 

The 2010 annual meeting and symposium of the North Carolina Military Historical Society was a great success.  Held on Armed Forces Day, the symposium covered personal accounts of service personnel during the Vietnam War. 


COL Richard M. Ripley, USA, Ret. enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and was commissioned in 1943. A career army officer, Ripley served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He commanded cavalry, artillery, armor, infantry, parachute, and Special Forces units during his 32 years of service. He is the recipient of numerous military awards but maintains the best award of his life was Norah Simpson, of Hull, England, his wife for 56 years.

LTC Joe Mavretic, USMC, Ret. is a native of Currituck County and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. He earned a Masters at George Washington University and graduated from the Naval War College. As a USMC aviator, he flew over three hundred combat missions during two tours in Vietnam. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1977 as a lieutenant colonel. Mavretic served fifteen years in the North Carolina General Assembly including a term as House Speaker from 1989 until 1990.


Jack Lancaster is a native of Smithfield, North Carolina but has lived in Cary since 1972 where he owns a financial planning and investment business. He has served as a board member and president of the Cary MacGregor Rotary Club and is married with two children and four grandchildren. Lancaster is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam from 1970-1972 where he received the Bronze Star Medal.


Ron Miriello grew up in Erwin, North Carolina and attended  Appalachian State University. He went from college student to service in the United States Navy. During part of his enlistment he served as a .50 machine gunner with the Mobile Riverine Forces in Vietnam from 1968-1969. Ron is now retired from the field of education and is proud to call himself a "River Rat".