Marine Blog #4 - Eddie S Ray
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Eddie S Ray was in command- codename Barbarian 6, spearheading the assault on Baghdad in command of the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battaltion in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their push had been hard and the USMC was ripping across desert roads faster than you can drive from Vegas to LA. It was late February, 1991, and then Captain Ray was remembering his start in the Corps as a private those years ago. He remembered his rise through the ranks and becoming an officer. He remembered the wisdom of old warriors, true Marines who gave everything for their country. He was to need that wisdom that hot desert morning.
He heard a report crackle through his radio- enemy tanks and artillery were massed at a nearby oil field on the flank. He made a snap decision, instincts honed from years of disciplined service. "This is Barbarian 6, we're on our way."
He turned his column toward the enemy and checked in with his scouts and rifleman. "Order air support," he said in a commanding tone.
The sun was rising over the oil fields that morning. The bombs and bursts of machine gun fire from plane and attack chopper sent enemy T-62s scattering like cockroaches. Divisional command was watching closely as Ray maneuvered his column to stop the enemy retreat. The smoke rising from the field obscured vision and conjured a late morning fog. His scouts were well trained, however, and were able to direct the aerial assault as Ray's men fired shot and shell into an enemy fast melting into chaos.
His LAVs in a screen formation, a skilled Marine rifle platoon dug in to the north, scouts calling shots, and a full Cobra assault had weakened the enemy and nullified their attempt at retreat. Now it was time for Ray's men to show the enemy how Marines fight. He attacked with full force.
His men pressed the attack and listened to their commander in his cool, magnificent fury. They pressed on and on through the field to the edge of the Emir's farm, destroying every target in site.
Ray's successful assault had destroyed 38 enemy vehicles, severely damaging their ability to wage war in the field.
He earned a Navy Cross for his bravery in the field that day. Colonel Ray's military career spanned three decades as he rose with great skill from an enlisted private to the rank of colonel. His wisdom as a warrior sets him apart and shows the world that Marine officers are both capable soldiers and scholars. Any Marine would tell you to expect nothing but the best from a Marine.
As he would say, "the best way to get respect is by giving it."
Colonel Ray, in full decoration, dispensing wisdom on the eve of his retirement.
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