MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Martin always serves others and his country

Published 7:07 pm Monday, January 14, 2019

By Gabrielle Terrett

The Vicksburg Post

Former Vicksburg National Military Park ranger Rick Martin has created a path that just about anyone could follow, and he continues to lead the way as a visitor’s service manager at the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Although he is not a native of Vicksburg, Martin has worked at the Vicksburg National Military Park as a ranger for more than 38 years.

“I moved back in with my parents after leaving the army and that wasn’t working out so well,” he said. “So I went out searching for work. I saw this guy dressed in olive green with a World War II cap on who looked like he was a member of the military and I tracked him down to his office and told him I was looking for work. He handed me an application over 40 years ago. I began working for the National Park Service and the rest is history.”

Martin credits his desire to serve to the push he received from being in the National Military Park and the United States Army, two organizations he dedicated most of his life to.

“There’s no doubt that the military inspired me to serve,” Martin said. “Both the military and the National Park Service; especially the National Park Service. They are all about service. People are involved and we are to serve the public. And the military is the same way.”

In addition to working on the service end of government, Martin also served time in the National Guard, making his way up to liaison officer.

Although his days seem, full he always sets time aside for others.

“I was a coach for two girls softball teams in Oklahoma and when I was in the army I was a football coach for a pee wee football team,” he said. “In New York, I was also an explorer post assistant advisor and then in Oklahoma I was an explorer advisor — the adult who ran the post. Here I’ve worked closely with Willie Glasper on the Memorial Day parade and the Veteran’s Day parade.”

Despite his busy daily schedule, Martin always works to serve others and even today still tries to inspire everyone to do the same.

“Just be service-oriented and you wouldn’t have any problem following in my footsteps,” said Martin.