Westborough – Ruano Andrew Lampi and his son Martin Andrew Lampi were named co-grand marshals of the 2015 Westborough Veterans Day Parade.
Ruano was born in Gardner Aug. 12, 1929, and spent his formative years in East Templeton, until he and his family moved to Westborough in 1966. He graduated Templeton High School before going to UMass-Amherst, where he ultimately earned a PhD for food technology in 1957.
During that time, he joined the Air Force Reserves and was called up for two years of active duty July 20, 1951. Ruano served with the 1414th Air Base Group in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as a base food service officer and the AC&W Squadron near Knoxville, Tenn. He was discharged from active duty as a first lieutenant and from the Air Force Reserves as a captain.
His major contributions to national defense came from his 25 years at the US Army Soldier Center, better known as Natick Laboratories, as a senior scientist and division chief. His technical areas of focus were combat rations and combat area kitchens. The creation and development of the MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) earned him the Army’s highest civilian award – Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Service.
The MRE replaced the C-ration in 1976 and has been in active use since 1980 for use when and where no other food or nutrition is available. Designed for military use on initial actions, long patrols, or a remote location, it has been used by Federal Emergency Management Agency in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
The Institute of Food Technologists named him a fellow and presented him with both the Industrial Achievement Award and the Reister-Davis Award for lifetime contributions to food packaging.
Ruano’s involvement in Westborough is also noteworthy. He was a member of the Veterans’ Advisory Board from 1998-2002; emceed WTV’s Veterans Corner with Al Blunt for over three years; and was the secretary of the Korean War 50th Commemoration Committee in 2000.
He and his wife Betty have been married for 63 years. They have three sons (Steve, Marty and Eric), a daughter (Karin), and seven grandchildren.
Martin, born Dec. 6, 1956, in Northhampton, grew up in Westborough, matriculated at Westborough public schools, and graduated Westborough High School in 1975 where he was the captain of the soccer team.
Marty’s 20-year military service career started in 1978 with Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. His Advanced Individual Training (AIT) took him to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, and Tripler Hospital, Hawaii, for schooling as a medical specialist/clinical specialist, and finally to Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colo., for practical nursing.
Over the years Marty was stationed with the 4th Infantry at Ft. Carson, Colo.; Ft. Devens, Mass.; 2nd Field Hospital, Bremerhaven, Germany; 7th (Light) Infantry, Ft. Ord, Calif., with assignments to Honduras, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm; 97th General Hospital/51st Combat Support Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany; and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.
During that time Marty was awarded, among others honors, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Asia Service Medal with Bronze Service Star.