Rickie K. Hosch Sr.

1947 - 2015

Iraq WarPersian GulfVietnam War

Their Story

Rickie K. Hosch was born on July 29, 1947, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Joseph and Dorothy (Schooly) Hosch.1 In 1965, Rickie graduated from Dubuque Senior High School2, and on October 13, 1966, he began his military career by enlisting in the United States Army to serve in Vietnam.3 In early 1967, it was reported that Rickie Hosch was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, with the First Armored Division; at the time, he held the rank of private.4 A year later, he was promoted to sergeant while serving in South Vietnam. He had been serving as a forward observer during “Operation Muscatine.”5

Operation Muscatine was a military operation conducted by the U.S. Army beginning in December of 1967. The goal of the operation was to “root out Viet Cong units,” in a territory northeast of Saigon. This operation was named after the Iowa town, Muscatine, and it was conducted by the 198th Light Infantry Brigade and the 11thInfantry Brigade. A month into the operation, it was reported that 234 enemy troops had been killed and 59 weapons had been seized.6 As a forward observer, Hosch would have observed enemy locations and directed artillery fire. Forward observers were the “eyes of artillery,” and were very important in the success of their unit’s mission.7

Hosch served three tours of duty during the Vietnam War, and during his military career, served in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War. While serving in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star for “gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.”8 He was also awarded four Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, the South West Asia Service Medal SWAS, and the Vietnam Service Medal. Staff Sergeant Hosch serviced as a Forward Observer in both the Persian Gulf and in Iraq War. On July 29, 2007, Staff Sergeant Hosch retired from the U.S. Army after 41 years of service. Rickie Hosch was a member of several veterans organizations, after retiring, including the Rock Falls VFW.

On December 31, 2015, SSG Rickie K. Hosch Sr. passed away at his home in Prophetstown, Illinois. He was survived by his wife, Christine (Rhoades) Hosch, their three sons, Rickie Jr. Jesse and Anthony and Seven grandchildren.9 An interesting note is that Rickie’s granddaughter was born on his birthday. A Granddaughter he never got to see.

SGT Hosch in Vietnam


1“Rickie K. Hosch,” McDonald Funeral Home, Inc., n.d., Rickie K. Hosch Obituary – Visitation & Funeral Information (mcdonaldfuneralhomes.com)

2“News of Servicemen,” Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, 14 February 1968, p.12, Dubuque Telegraph Herald Archives, Feb 14, 1968, p. 12 (newspaperarchive.com)

3“Rickie K. Hosch,” McDonald Funeral Home, Inc.

4“News of Servicemen,” Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, 26 February 1967, p.33, Dubuque Telegraph Herald Archives, Feb 26, 1967, p. 33 (newspaperarchive.com)

5“News of Servicemen,” Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, 14 February 1968, p.12.

6“Operation Muscatine,” Green Bay Press-Gazette, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 15 January 1968, p.2, 15 Jan 1968, Page 2 – Green Bay Press-Gazette at Newspapers.com

7Lance Cpl. Corey Dabney, “Forward Observers: The Eyes of Indirect Fire Support,” 11 April 2013, Forward Observers: The eyes of indirect fire support > 1st Marine Division > Featured News (marines.mil)

8“Rickie Keven Hosch,” The Hall of Valor, n.d., Rickie Hosch – Recipient – (militarytimes.com)

9“Rickie K. Hosch,” McDonald Funeral Home, Inc.