Richard Fusakio was born on September 21, 1945, in North Hampton, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1967, and completed basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in February 1968. Fusakio next completed Army Aviator School, earning his commission as a Warrant Officer and his Army Aviator Badge at Fort Rutger, Alabama, on December 17, 1968. He next deployed to Southeast Asia and was assigned as a UH-1D/H Huey pilot and later as an OH-6A Cayuse and OH-58A Kiowa pilot with the 25th Aviation Company of the 1st Aviation Brigade in Long Binh, South Vietnam, from January 1969 to August 1970. CW2 Fusakio left active duty on August 18, 1970, and remained in the Army Reserve until November 16, 1973. Rich later flew for U.S. Airways, retiring as a Boeing 767 Captain in September 2005.
His 1st (of 2) Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
Warrant Officer W1 Richard R. Fusakio, United States Army, who distinguished himself by outstandingly meritorious service in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. During the period January 1969 to January 1970 he consistently manifested exemplary professionalism and initiative in obtaining outstanding results. His rapid assessment and solution of numerous problems inherent in a combat environment greatly enhanced the allied effectiveness against a determined and aggressive enemy. Despite many adversities, he invariably performed his duties in a resolute and efficient manner. Energetically applying his sound judgement and extensive knowledge, he has contributed materially to the successful accomplishment of the United States mission in the Republic of Vietnam. His loyalty, diligence and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.