Ray D.

REAL LIFE STORIES

Ray D.

Ray D. was only 17 when he enlisted in the military. The year was 1943; Ray joined up to serve his country during World War II, with plans to spend his life as a career military professional. By his early twenties, Ray was well on his way toward that goal, ranking Sergeant First Class — one of the highest ranks for enlisted soldiers. Ever modest, Ray looks back now and says, “It was just a job.”

His plans were cut short while he was serving in Korea. Just 24 years old, Ray took a bullet in each leg during a firefight. His right leg was amputated above the knee as a lifesaving measure. 
Ray was unwilling to accept his classification of 80% disabled. He left the Army after being awarded a purple heart and the coveted Combat Infantryman Badge, and proceeded to chart a new map for his life. Ray constructed a very successful career for himself as a building contractor, specializing in single-family homes. He had a family of his own and raised five children. His eight grandchildren are a great source of pride.

Ray enjoys canoeing and golfing and he loves to read, but his real passion is a night out on the town dancing and dining. Even at the age of 87, he still loves to take Betty — his “lady friend” of 22 years — out dancing.

As the kind of man who refuses to be a drain on the VA medical system, Ray rarely requires prosthetic appointments and he will only accept a bare minimum of prosthetic supplies. Betty says this is just the way he is. “Ray does not spend enough on himself and is always generous with others,” she comments. 

Ray’s greatest asset, perhaps, is that he genuinely enjoys other people; it isn’t difficult to see why he has been successful in both business and life.
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