Black History Month’s Unsung Hero…  William Richard Lockette

Leesburg, Florida Retired Veteran Continues to Assists Veterans Obtain their Military Benefits

Richard Lockette


LEESBURG – At least monthly the phone rings and it is a widow or veteran seeking information. Although now retired, Richard’s opinion is still sought and referrals are still coming.

William Richard Lockette (“Richard”) was born in Roanoke, Virginia. He moved permanently to the Washington DC Area in 1970. Richard retired from The Veterans Administration in Washington DC as The Military Service Coordinator after 30 years.  Richard started working for VA as a file clerk in 1971 while attending college. He held several positions prior to being promoted to Field examiner. As a Field Examiner, Richard had the responsibility of searching for Veterans that needed their records updated or interviewing fiduciaries to make sure all the needs of the veterans were met. He spent many days in the parks and abandoned buildings wherever necessary looking for the Veterans. He was then promoted to Military Coordinator. His job was to interview retiring military personnel informing them of their benefits once they left the military. One of his proudest moments was conducting the separation from the Military of General Colin Powell when he retired.

After retiring from the VA Richard worked 10 years for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He retired as Master Sergeant of the United States Air force after 30 years having served 4 years Active Duty during the Viet Nam Era and 26 in the Air Force Reserves. He enlisted in the Airforce January 26, 1967 after receiving a draft notice in November 1966.He was in Vietnam (Saigon) May 1969 to May 1970.

His overseas assignments were 3 tours to Hawaii, 2 tours to the Hague Netherlands, 1 tour to Marion Spain, Thailand and Portugal.

He moved to Leesburg Florida in 2007 where he served 12 years as Quarter Master/Service Officer for VFW Post 6389 and President of the Lake County Democratic Veterans Caucus. He was one of the founding members and helped form the Caucus in 2015. As service officer of the VFW, he began to help the Military families in Lake County. Word spread fast and soon Richard was inundated with many seeking help with completing packages for military aid. He was asked to speak and present Military AID Forums throughout the county and to the Democratic Veterans Caucus of Florida and is still recognized as a viable source of information.

Richard is the proud father of 2 adult daughters and has been married 42 years to his wife and partner, Lillian Lockette.