N O V 2 0 1 6 D E C

David Thatcher

In 1960 my father, Norman R. Thatcher, Jr. who was just 22 years old and married with four (4) children received paperwork from the Selective Service System with a di- rective that he report to the U.S. Army Induction Center in Providence, RI. The draft was in full force that year as the United States stepped up its commitment to place troops on the ground in Southeast Asia (SouthVietnam). I recall Dad telling the story of how he and many other youngmen his age were paraded like cattle through vari- ous stations including one for a G.I. style physical. How- ever, when he reached the table to verify marital status and dependency they quickly stamped “4-F” on his pa- perwork in bold red ink after learning that he had a wife and four dependent children. M y parents came from “blue collar” middle class families’ with strong Christian values at a time when men were the primary bread winners and women were perfectly content to be housewives and raise their children. Dad worked two fulltime jobs, one as a carpenter by day and the other as a metal pol- isher at night. The early 1960’s was an era of true patriotism and a time when all Americans embraced newly elected President John F. Kennedy ’s infamous speech “Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country”. It was also a time when public service was an honorable calling and many self- less individuals answered the call to serve their country and local communities in various capacities. With military service out of the question Dad had another form of public service in mind. 1961 was a very busy year in many respects as it was the same year that we moved from a small apartment within the inner-city to a newly constructed ranch style house in Warwick where my parents grew up. My Dad never complained about manual labor or working long hours but it was his passion to become a police officer just as his father Norman R. Thatcher, Sr. did in 1934 when after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard became one of Warwick Police Department’s

Full Dress Uniform – Warwick Police, 1962.

Thatcher Family in April of 1966.

RI Municipal Police Training Academy Class, 91-III, Det.Thatcher, 2nd row, 3rd from left.

Family vehicle the day after it was firebombed in 1966.

Dad & Mom in 1956.

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