The future of the Jewish War Veterans lies in its youth, so it is only proper that we hear from a “younger” member. Meet Richard Pape, an unassuming man who said he had nothing interesting to offer about himself.
Pape was a military brat. His father served for 16 years including during Desert Storm with the U.S. Army. He also has an uncle who served in Vietnam with Marine Force Recon. Like many army brats, he grew up in a lot of places, graduating high school in Georgia.
He followed his family background and naturally went into the military. He trained at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in Texas to become an Air Transport Specialist. His four-and-a-half-year service took him to places like Altus AFB in Oklahoma and Yokota Air Base in Japan.
After his time in the Air Force he used his training to secure a job in Oman working cargo destined for Iraq and Afghanistan. Pape worked here for seven years, during which he connected with members of the British Special Air Service, he cannot speak much about it but he clearly enjoyed that experience.
Pape earned a degree in Fish and Wildlife from the American Military University where he developed a passion for raising fish. After Oman, he moved to Georgia and Alaska working at fish hatcheries.
Pape now works for a company in Minneapolis, Minnesota (MN) in accounts payable and his interests have led him to seek a career as a Certified Public Accountant.
Pape is a long-time member of the American Legion. In 2020, Lou Michaels, then Department Commander for MN, and also a member of the American Legion, asked Pape to join JWV and so he did. Pape enjoys that JWV is smaller than American Legion as he finds it easier to get things done.
Pape is Commander of Post 331 in Minneapolis and also Vice Commander of the Department of MN. Pape is just what JWV needs for our future – a young veteran willing to accept positions of responsibility.
Pape has been married for 5 years and enjoys spending time with his wife and dog while hiking, cooking, and organizing events. He helps with cookouts at the Sholom Home, a Jewish Retirement Home in St. Louis Park, MN.
Volume 77. Number 3. 2023