Rick's Story

From the time he grew up in Tyler, Texas, Rick Coplen committed himself to the greater good. In high school, he volunteered with Meals on Wheels and founded a community service youth group called “Operation Action.”  In 1977, Rick entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point --- he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1981.


Rick’s U.S Army career spanned duty stations across the globe – to include combat (Panama), peacekeeping (Bosnia), and teaching economics and international political economy (West Point).  In 1989, as the lead intelligence officer for the 1st Brigade, 82d Airborne Division, Rick was among the first group of soldiers to parachute into Panama for Operation Just Cause.

With his dad, Bill, at West Point - 1977

Ready to head home from Panama - 1990.

As President of the Carlisle

Rotary Club

Coordinating Rotary's Superstorm Sandy Relief Effort

Rick and his family settled in the Carlisle area.  Having retired from active duty, Rick continued to serve the Army for a decade as Professor of Economic Development, Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, U.S. Army War College.  Meanwhile, Rick also teaches undergraduate and graduate economics and business leadership courses for Elizabethtown College.    


In high school, Rick won the local Rotary Club’s ‘Four Way Test’ Speech Contest. Thus, familiar with Rotary’s community and international service, Rick joined the Rotary Club of Carlisle.  As Club President, he organized a Central PA-wide relief effort after Superstorm Sandy. This effort contributed thousands of dollars, five tractor trailer loads of supplies and furniture, and 1,000 elementary school books --- each with a personalized message of support from Carlisle students. 


Rick’s most recent commitment to the community is his service on the Carlisle Area School Board. Appointed in 2015 and elected to a full term two years later, Rick has worked to make sure that our children have the best resources available. He has repeatedly called the state legislature to account for failure to fully and fairly fund public schools.

If you know Rick, the first thing he will talk about is not himself, but rather his wife and daughters. (Had Rick created this page, he would have put this section at the top.)

Rick and Lorelei Eloise Wilson married on December 30, 1987, after meeting earlier that year, while they were both stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.  Lorelei also served as a career Army officer and multiple tour combat veteran, retiring with the rank of Colonel.  They own and operate the Rendezvous Run Horse Training Farm.

Lorelei and Rick have two adult daughters, Jacqueline and Michaela - both graduates of Carlisle High School.  Jacqueline serves as an active duty U.S. Army officer at Fort Bragg N.C and Michaela is a graduate student at Oxford in England.

Lorelei and Rick on their wedding day - 1987

The Coplens - Selfie Style! - 2018

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