Staff Sergeant Ric was born to a U.S. Navy serviceman father, Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Anthony Rice, and a Filipino mother, Elizabeth Ross Rice, on the U.S. Navy Base Subic Bay, Philippines, while his father was serving abroad with the U.S. Navy. His Grandfather, Richard Ross, served in the U.S. Marines during WWII where one of Corporal Ross’s tours took him to the Philippines where he met Teodora Olivas, who is Staff Sergeant Rice’s grandmother in the Philippines.
As the son and grandson of military men, Staff Sergeant Rice and his family lived all over the world, stationed in places such as Hawaii, Japan, California and the Philippines, to name just a few. Staff Sergeant Rice grew up daydreaming about being a combat soldier in the military. He used to play “Army” with his cousin, Jamie Rice, who later joined the U.S. Marines to add to the Rice family military traditions.
On Staff Sergeant Rice’s 20th birthday in 1996, the same year his father retired from the U.S. Navy, he joined the Air National Guard which was soon followed by his active duty enlistment in the U.S. Army. His military training started in the U.S. Air Force, where his military specialty was as an aircrew member in the world-renowned work horse of the U.S. military air fleet, the C-130 Hercules. While in the Air Force, Staff Sergeant Rice’s training consisted of Loadmaster course, Aircrew Level C Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape course and U.S. Paratrooper Airborne schools.
While in the Air Force, Rice served in Bosnia flying U.S. Special Forces and Army Rangers to a small war torn village called Tuzla in Bosnia where the NATO Stabilization Force’s took control to begin its campaign for peace in that region of Bosnia. He realized that while being a Loadmaster fulfilled his patriotic duty, he was not fulfilling his dream of being a combat soldier.
It was Staff Sergeant Rice’s 51st flight mission with the U.S. Air Force from Germany to Bosnia, when he realized his life’s work was not to stay in the air and drop off the soldiers to fight but to follow the troops off the plane into combat. In late 1997 Staff Sergeant Rice requested a conditional honorable discharge out of the U.S. Air Force to Join the U.S. Army and that was granted.
While in the Active Duty U.S. Army, Staff Sergeant Rice was placed in the Transportation Corps under the XVIII Airborne Brigade, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. There he was on the ground with the infantryman where his heart wanted him. Staff Sergeant Rice (then Private First Class Rice) was deployed in 1998-1999 to The Republic of Nicaragua in Central America for a humanitarian crisis. While in Nicaragua Private First Class Rice dealt with medical trauma emergencies throughout this tour.
Not knowing how to treat seriously injured victims and soldiers, as his military training only gave him basic knowledge of first aid, and watching people die in his arms, at that time he recognized another calling and added U.S. Army Combat Medic to his credentials.
In November 2001 Staff Sergeant Rice reenlisted to be a U.S. Army Combat Medic. During his reenlistment contract preparations Staff Sergeant Rice made sure his enlistment contract demanded that he attend not only the Combat Medic school but also attend the prestigious U.S. Army Ranger School in Ft. Benning, Georgia. This is an intense 61-day combat leadership course oriented toward small-unit tactics. It has been called “the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school the Army has to offer.” He was then sent to more advanced schools the Army needed him to attend. The U.S. Army Expert Field Medical Course, Combat Team Medical Trauma Course Trauma AIMS Course (specializing in Advance Airway, IV Therapy) and Medical Trauma Simulation Courses, to name a few.
In all of his career, Staff Sergeant Rice was able to continue his civilian education and obtain a Bachelors of Sciences Degree in Environmental Sciences using the Montgomery GI Bill and support of his Commanding Officers and fellow soldiers.
In becoming a Combat Medic and a Ranger, in his 20 plus years with the Army, Staff Sergeant Rice has served all over the world, including going back to Bosnia for a second tour which gave him a completion of his Air Force Tour, two tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he served as senior medic at Camp VI, the highest level detainee prison, and in Kuwait.
Experiencing firsthand the humanitarian efforts of the US military, Staff Sergeant Rice has a unique perspective of the great good that can come of military service. Injured in one deployment and critically injured in another, Staff Sergeant Rice has been transitioned into the Wounded Warrior Transition Program where he is preparing for his retirement from his years of faithful service not only for his country but for his families military tradition. He says now it’s time to start his new career, whichever path that may take him.
Staff Sergeant Rice believes in finding that path. He will be going back to college in a career not yet determined in addition to his Bachelors of Sciences Degree. In his free time Sergeant Rice is an alumnist with Wounded Warrior Project and mentor to the younger Army Soldiers, Airman, Marines and Navy Corpsmen during his volunteer time with the Wounded Warrior Project and other VA organizations.
For her part, Holly Holmquist, guide listeners each week during her show to learn to operate from their spirituality in everyday life, particularly in the pursuit of living life with purpose. Regardless of religious affiliation or absence thereof, Open Conversations shows listeners why we are all connected spiritual beings navigating our way through a spiritual world. The thought-provoking show features wide-ranging discussions with various guests from different faiths and walks of life, centered on living life with purpose and spiritual awareness.
Holly’s spiritual work began in 2003 when she accepted an apprenticeship with a Native Healer in Nashville, TN. Two years later, she was ordained as a holistic minister through a hands-on-healing program known as Divine Intervention.
Always a spiritual seeker, Holly has led the work-life balance of both teacher and student around spiritual studies and education. Holly’s spiritual education is varied and includes both religious studies and metaphysical studies. Along with her in-depth spiritual research, Holy also has over 13 years experience with financial institutions as a representative, a loan officer and manager.
With a background in finance, coaching and development, and spiritual study, Holly has designed classes and workshops that explore our beliefs and behavior around money, as well as the core beliefs we live by. Today she works as a Day Minister and Spiritual Mentor. Through private phone and web sessions she mentors clients to live from their authentic selves.
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