After high school graduation in 1963, Ralston voluntarily enlisted into the United States Marine Corps, where he served from 1963-1967. He was immediately deployed to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC for infantry training. At completion of training, Sgt. Ralston was sent to Pensacola, FL where he attended school for Communications and Electronic Warfare. From January 1966 to January 1967, he was stationed in Huế (Phu Bai), Vietnam, during which time he worked his way up the ranks to Sergeant. Sgt. Ralston received the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Expert Rifleman, Pistol Sharpshooter, Good Conduct Medal, and Top-Secret Security Clearance. Sgt. Ralston is father to two daughters: Debbie, born in 1965 in a Marine Corp Hospital, and Kim, born in 1967 on the Marine Corp birthday.
Sgt. Ralston was nominated by his daughter, Kimberly Ralston.
“I am very proud of him for serving our country at such a difficult time in a world full of conflict and controversy. My dad was dedicated and hardworking all my life. I believe his time in the service helped to mold him into the man and father that he is today.”
NFM Salutes is an initiative in which one military member or Veteran is chosen each month to be honored as the “Salute of the Month.” Salutes are chosen from nominations on the NFM Salute website, www.nfmsalute.com. The “Salute of the Month” will be featured on the website with a brief biography and information about his or her service, and NFM Lending will make a $1,000 donation to a military or Veteran non-profit in the Salute’s name. Sgt. Ralston chose Platoon 22 to receive this month’s donation.
Selected NFM Salutes may choose from one of the following three non-profits: Platoon 22, AnySoldier, and the Gary Sinise Foundation. NFM looks forward to the opportunity to continue to honor military and Veterans through the NFM Salute initiative.