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Teddy R. Ray on his heroism: What else was there to do?

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By Geniece Marcum

Metcalfe Countians have always been proud of their young people who have served in the armed forces. One we are especially proud to call one of our own, is Teddy Ray, from a neighboring farm to my homeplace in the Bellview community of Edmonton, KY. He served in the Vietnam War, and received a wall full of medals for his heroism. One of the medals came after the helicopter he was aboard was shot down during a rescue mission near Hanoi, North Vietnam. The medal was for his gallantry during a firefight, but Teddy shrugs it off, even to this day.

When I met him on the street in Edmonton after he returned home from Vietnam and commended him for his bravery, I got a characteristic Teddy Ray response: "Oh, hell," he said. "What else are you going to do? You're hanging a thousand feet in the air and they're shooting at you. You shoot back."

Carla Smith, Teddy Ray's daughter, Carla Smith, Glasgow, KY, sent us the following brief summary of her father's service:
Teddy R. Ray, Edmonton KY, was a Third-Class Electrician's Mate in the US Navy during 2 Tours of Duty in Vietnam. He was part of the crew of an SH3-A Helicopter that flew on rescue missions for downed flight personnel. The following are his service awards from 1967:
  • Silver Star
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • 4 Air Medals
  • National Defense Medal
  • US Vietnam Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
Thank you for recognizing his sacrifice for our country. -Carla Smith
Our thanks to Carla Smith, and our gratitude to Teddy Ray, for his bravery, and for making us so proud.

At one point, several years ago, we decided to publish all the names of Metcalfe County service people in the newspaper. I've been searching for the ones we had, but have been disappointed that I wasn't able to find that information. I don't think we ever do enough to honor our service people, whether it's Teddy Ray, our reluctant-to-admit-that-he's-a-hero, hero, or those in my own family and elsewhere. We can never do enough for them for what they've done for us. - Geniece Marcum

This story was posted on 2012-11-15 07:26:20
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