Serving his country is in Ron Pieper’s blood.
“I always wanted to be a soldier,” said Pieper, a graduate of The Citadel, who followed in the footsteps of his father, who was a World War II veteran, as well as his uncle and his great-great-grandfather, who fought for the Union Army during the Civil War.
After graduating from The Citadel, Pieper was commissioned into the Army as a second lieutenant. He was in the infantry and did one tour of duty in Vietnam. He also served in Europe. In all, he spent 12 years active duty followed by another 19 in the Reserves, retiring after 31 years.
“I look back at 31 years, and I’m proud of my service to my country,” he said.
In his civilian career, he retired from Bell South.
“Being in the military made me appreciate this country, and it kept me grounded and humble. It taught me to be honorable and honest and gave me a sense of discipline,” he said.
Pieper continues to work with veterans as a member of Jesse C. Lynch Memorial Post 71 in North Augusta. He believes in the work veterans organizations do at both the local and national levels.
“They do a lot of good work in the community,” he said. “They help vets in need.”
The post gives him an opportunity to be with others who’ve served and have a common bond.
“There’s a sense of camaraderie,” he said. “We have a lot of veterans including some World War II vets.”
Each year at Veterans Day and at Memorial Day, Pieper attends the ceremonies his post conducts. He is also involved in other post activities and has been a part of the ceremonial honor guard.
Those two holidays hold a special place in his heart and bring up a lot of memories.
“Everyone should say ‘thank you’ to our veterans. Veterans Day is a day to appreciate our veterans. We should do that anyway,” he said.