Richard Perricone was born in 1946 in Queens, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 2, 1965, and completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, in February 1966. Perricone was trained as an Infantry Indirect Fire Crewman at Fort Ord, California, and then served with 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, and then with Company B, 1st Battalion, 12 Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam, from May 1966 until he was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War on July 12, 1967. After spending 2,064 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 5, 1973. Sgt Perricone was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, before leaving active duty on July 11, 1973.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Staff Sergeant Richard R. Perricone distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action as a Prisoner of War in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia on 6 November 1967. With profound courage and a strong conviction in the Code of Conduct he escaped from an enemy prisoner of war camp, knowing that the odds for success were slight and that if recaptured he would receive torture and long periods in solitary confinement. The success of his escape was short lived, and he was recaptured and punished. This soldier's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflected great credit on himself and the United States Army.