CRANSTON, RI – Just over five decades since Major Robert Croke’s second tour in Vietnam ended, the Rhode Island veteran, who passed away in 2014. was honored today at a special ceremony recognizing his selfless service during the war.

Gathering with family members, U.S. Senator Jack Reed presented Mr. Richard Croke, the brother of the late MAJ. Robert Croke, with medals his brother earned during the Vietnam War, including a Bronze Star Medal, the fourth-highest award a servicemember can receive. 

Born in Providence in April of 1933 and a graduate of La Salle Academy, Mr. Croke joined the U.S. Army in August of 1955, two months after completing his degree at Providence College where he trained as a member of the ROTC.  Shortly after completing officer candidate school, Mr. Croke completed numerous stints overseas throughout Europe and Indochina.  He served in the Army for a total of seventeen years, including two tours in Vietnam from May of 1967 to May 1968 and from February of 1971 until January 1972.

When he returned to Rhode Island after being honorably discharged from the Army, Mr. Croke embarked on a thirty-year career as a financial clerk for the U.S. Postal Service in Providence, retiring in 2002 to spend time with his wife, Ellenjane Cox, at their home in Pawtucket.  Mr. Croke was a proud uncle and great uncle to several nieces and nephews.

“Major Croke selflessly served our nation in the U.S. Army, including his two tours in Vietnam.  We recognize his bravery in going above and beyond the call of duty and earning numerous honors that I am proud to present to his loving family today,” said Senator Reed, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and U.S. Army veteran. “While these military awards are long overdue, it is important that we pay our respects to Major Croke for his courage and commitment and immense sacrifice.  I also want to take this opportunity to thank Major Croke and his family and all of our Vietnam veterans and their families.  Much of their service went unheralded in the aftermath of the war, but we owe them a debt of gratitude can never be fully repaid, and it is important we say thank you to those who bravely served.”   

In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, MAJ. Croke earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, and Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar and Pistol Bar.