Robert Lee Ridgway
Robert grew up in a family that moved a lot, so he has lived in many Montana towns. He quit High School to join the Marines. In boot camp, he made PFC and shot a 234 score out of a possible 250 on the rifle range. On the same day, he turned 18- he graduated boot camp, which was also the same day he would have graduated from High School. He spent 22 months in Viet Nam as an 81 Mortars, Forward Observer, gaining the rank of Sergeant.
He survived the seige at Khe Sanh, on hill 861 Alpha where the Marines were over run. He received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with the bronze star, good conduct award and others.
After his military service, he worked underground in a mine in Idaho where there was a cave in and the mine closed down. There are newspaper stories in old papers, of the mine cave in and Robert's part in saving trapped miners. From there, Robert moved back to Kalispell where he worked in the timber/logging industry. He worked on the pipeline in Alaska in the 70's. Robert also managed a pipe yard, in Sydney, Mt, then moved to Nevada where he was a relief shifter and taught safety classes in the mines.
Throughout his life, while he accomplished other things, Robert wrote poetry. He didn't always save what he wrote but as he got older, he saved more and more of his work. In 2003 he met his wife Donna, and together they have been working to polish the poems and find ways to get them published. Robert has a poetry page on Facebook, under Robert Lee Ridgway. You can see a lot of his poems on his facebook page.