Dick Proenneke joined the United States Navy the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, and served throughout World War II as a carpenter, but while serving he was stricken with rheumatic fever and was confined to bed for nearly six months. This would be a turning point in Dick's life. Once he recovered from this debilitating illness, he decided to devote the rest of his life to his health and strengthening his body, mind and soul.
After his honorable discharge from the U. S. Navy, Richard returned to school and began learning the trade of a diesel mechanic. Because of his strong work ethic, his ability to think outside the box, and his flexibility, he became very skilled as a mechanic.
But he soon longed for his first love and appreciation of nature and the world around him moving to Oregon and began working on a sheep ranch. In 1950, he made the move further north to Shuyak Island, Alaska. This would be another turning point in his life as it would set him on a course for the adventure of his life.
Dick spent the next several years working as a diesel mechanic on Kodiak Island at the Naval Air Station. He also worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service at King Salmon on the Alaska Peninsula, and was also a salmon fisherman throughout the State of Alaska.
Richard became well known as a skilled mechanic and was continually sought after. But Dick had more grandiose plans he was working toward. His dream to retire was about to come true. He would follow his dream to Twin Lakes Alaska and set off on an adventure of a lifetime.
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