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StoryCorps: Preparing dying veterans for their "last deployment"

Courtesy of StoryCorps
Ron Riveira and Jason Deitch at the Concord Vet Center

This interview most recently aired in the May 29, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.

Navy veteran Ron Ekika Riveira Jr. says that when you first see him and all his tattoos, you might see a “big bad scary-looking Hell’s Angels guy.” But if you look closer, you'll see that the ink tells a different, much more surprising story.

Riveira is a retired corpsman — which is what the navy calls their medics. In this edition of StoryCorps, Riveira sat down with his friend, fellow retired army medic Jason Deitch, for a conversation about love, devotion, and service in the lives of veterans.

"Every time I go into a home I see a piece of my family. I see a grandma and a grandpa that need help ... I can fix that. It's being able to empower them and their family to make that decision." —Ron Riveira

Click the audio player above to listen to the story.


This interview was originally recorded at a Storycorps booth at the Concord Vet Center in Concord, CA. It was part of a photography exhibit on the relationship between veterans and their tattoos. To view the exhibit, click here.


This story originally aired in January of 2017.