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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

A Battle fought together

By Cpl. Megan Roses | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | March 11, 2019


“I was shocked. I had no side effects. I had just taken a physical fitness test and passed with flying colors,” explained Richard Riley, a Police Officer with Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton.

Riley moved from London, England to Miami, when he was in high school. After graduating, he attended Palm Beach University. He realized a couple of years into college that he wanted to do something else in life.

In 1990, Riley’s younger brother enlisted in the U.S. Navy. This action sparked Riley’s interest where he too enlisted and served 20 years. Throughout his service to the DoD, Riley inspired many with his passion for helping people. His desire to help and guide, led to making lasting friendships. Master Chief Billy Smith, Command Master Chief for Navy Recruiting District in Miami, said, “You are my best friend; you are one of three people I can look to for advice.”

After retiring from the Navy, Riley became a civilian police officer for MCB Camp Pendleton where he has worked now for five years.

Officer Daniel Vasquez, an accident investigator with MCB Camp Pendleton, said with a smile, “He is a hard worker. If I needed help or someone else needed help, he would be the first one to assist. He always worked with a smile on his face.”

On April 6, 2018, Riley and his wife, Terri, took off work to attend his baseline colonoscopy appointment. Life was great, and all seemed well according to Terri. The two planned to enjoy lunch together after his doctor’s visit.

Terri and her husband were in complete shock when the doctor came out to say that he had a tumor and that it was cancerous.

“It was a huge shock, [being told] you have Stage 4 Colon cancer,” explained Riley.

Riley, even with such a disheartening diagnosis, continued to work until May 201