2019 Hall of Fame Honoree
David Raper arrived at OMA during the second semester of 1959. He was able to stay through Junior College in 1965, from a Rabbit to Corps Commander. Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon was the speaker at the 1965 graduation, and this OMA introduction allowed Raper to resign his regular Army commission and accept a regular commission as a 2nd Lieutenant USMC following his graduation from OU in 1967.
At OU, because of the training at OMA in voice projections, Raper spent two years as a varsity cheerleader. He served four years and 17 days in the Marine Corps and continues to serve his Marines and other veterans because of the Loyalty banner established at OMA. Following the Marine Corps, he went to the FBI for six and a half years, which flowed into a career in private industry focusing on training, management and small businesses.
After a major PTSD incident, which an OMA day student pre-warned Raper during an OMA golf outing that he did in fact have PTSD, Raper became involved with the Military Order of Purple Heart. He completed six years serving as the Adjutant for the Department (State) of Georgia. His Chapter and the Department have honored him with the Patriot of the Year award.
OMA continues to be a major influence in his life, as he notes he still rolls his socks, folds his t-shirts and underwear, and hangs his shirts the correct way.
On May 31, 2019, Raper and his wife Lana will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of Jennifer Smith and John David Raper and are the proud grandparents of Carolyn, Lillian and Bradley. They are honored to have as a son-in-law, Clay Smith, Class of 1977 USMA.
Raper states, “Each of us as members of the Corps of Cadets, when we lay the words Courage-Loyalty-Honor against our lives, see the impact those words have had on events in our lives even though we did not recognize it at the time. Today we are carrying on the legacy of the Corps with the Gold Program. New leaders developed by Old Men of OMA. The GOLD Program is our legacy. Years will pass; your great grandchildren will tour the halls of the OMA Museum and find your picture. They will see your name and understand your part in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. The choice is ours, yours and mine. Someone invested in you and me. We need to invest in the men and woman of the GOLD Program. Humbly, Lana and I thank you for this honor.”