Rich was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He was drafted in 1966 and spent basic training at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina. He was also trained as a Communications Specialist at Ft. Gordon in Georgia. Rich worked in Communications at Danang, Hue and Quang Tri, spending the majority of his time with the 37th Signal Batallion, 1st Signal Brigade attached to MACV Advisory.
He returned to civilian life, working as a sales representative for a paper manufacturer in NY for more than forty years. Rich resides in Matawan with his wife. He has two daughters and three grandchildren.