In 1969 Ralph enlisted in the Navy and was off to Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Northern Illinois. Naval Station Great Lakes (NAVSTA Great Lakes) is the home of the United States Navy’s only boot camp, located near North Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois. Important tenant commands include the Recruit Training Command, Training Support Center and Navy Recruiting District Chicago. Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy.  

Ralph Barrale, Jr. was born on in 1949. His parents were Ralph Barrale, Sr. (1924-2018) and Rose Marie Busalaki (1924-2019). Ralph and his family lived in Florissant Missouri and he attended St. Thomas Aquinas and later McCluer High School. Ralph briefly attended Florissant Valley Community College. In 1969 Ralph enlisted in the Navy and was off to Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Northern Illinois. Naval Station Great Lakes (NAVSTA Great Lakes) is the home of the United States Navy’s only boot camp, located near North Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois. Important tenant commands include the Recruit Training Command, Training Support Center and Navy Recruiting District Chicago. Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy. After completing his six weeks at Great Lakes, Ralph came back to St. Louis and attended Naval Training Station at Lambert Field. From there he was off to Long Beach California, where he was assigned to the USS Humes, a Navy Destroyer. His rank was Seaman First Class, and his duty was Fire Prevention, monitoring instruments and standing watch. Ralph was discharged in 1971 and he returned to St. Louis. He married Kathleen Martin in June 1974, and they made their home in Wentzville, Missouri. Ralph and Kathleen raised two sons: Nick and Tony. Ralph worked at a local grocery store chain and owned and operated a small religious goods store with his wife Kathleen. Ralph lost his wife Kathleen in 2016. Today, Ralph volunteers at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum. The museum was the dream of his father, Ralph Barrale Senior and opened in 2019, just months after his death.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.