Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 22, 2012

Wednesday Hero: Capt. Eddie Ray

Capt. Eddie S. RayCapt. Eddie S. RayU.S. Marines
57 years old from Seattle, Washington
Company B, 1st Light Armored Infantry Battalion, Task Force Shepherd, 1st Marine Division

Capt. Eddie S. Ray
57 years old from Seattle, Washington
Company B, 1st Light Armored Infantry Battalion, Task Force Shepherd, 1st Marine Division
U.S. Marines

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Eddie S. Ray, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer, Company B, First Light Armored Infantry Battalion, Task Force Shepherd, FIRST Marine Division, in the Emirate of Kuwait on 25 February 1991. During the early morning hours of G+1 of Operation Desert Storm, an Iraqi mechanized division counter-attacked elements of the FIRST Marine Division in the vicinity west of the flame and smoke engulfed Burgan Oil Fields in Southeastern Kuwait. As dense black smoke shrouded the battlefield, an Iraqi mechanized brigade engaged the FIRST Marine Division Forward Command Post security forces. During the ensuing intense ten hour battle, Captain Ray repeatedly maneuvered his Light Armored Vehicle Company in harm’s way, skillfully integrating his Light Armored Infantry weapons, reinforcing TOW’s, and AH-1W Attack Helicopters to decisively defeat main Iraqi counter-attacks. Leading from the front and constantly exposed to large volumes of enemy fire, Captain Ray led swift, violent attacks directly into the face of the vastly larger enemy force. These attacks shocked the enemy, destroyed 50 enemy Armored Personnel Carriers, and resulted in the capture of over 250 Iraqi soldiers. Operating perilously close to the attacking enemy, Captain Ray’s courage, composure under fire, and aggressive war fighting spirit were instrumental in the defeat of a major enemy effort and the successful defense of the Division Forward Command Post. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Captain Ray reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look

This post is part of Wednesday Hero. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Responses

  1. i was with Capt Ed Ray. He had been assigned to Division guard the night before we went across the border. he was very disappointed but I told him that there would be enough for all of us. That night I thought that we were in for a long, hard fight and was worried that many of us would die. We had already been through Umm Hujuul and lost 11 Marines on 29 Jan 91. I was one of three combat vets in 1st LAI and I told him to put one foot in front of the other and grunt it out. He was not happy, he had a great Company and his Marines and Sailors adored him. Capt Pollard had already been savagedly bloodied and Capt Ray wanted to lead them into a light brigade charge and get some back. Little did he know that he would become a living part of Marine Corps History or that Bravo would stop an end run on Gen Myatts HQs. The last time I saw Ed he came into a GP tent and yelled at me and Capt Olsen because he had been saddled with the cleanup of an LAV25 that was not his. I insisted that it was not mine and even though he is 6′ 7″ tall and 295 lbs and I was 5′ 9″ tall and 175lbs, I told him that it was not my vehicle and to cease and desist. Found out later that Capt John Frieda had been given an LAV25 for his own sportscar use by Col Meiers (CO 1st LAI), Frieda was the LAV TOW Cmdr even though the TOWs had been fractioned off to the letter companies. Ed KNEW this because he had four LAV TOWs assigned to his company. John Frieda could have taken my place and I could have gone home in Nov 90. Why Ray did not confront Frieda is beyond me. Powers did not even get involved. this was my thankyou for 21 yrs of service. I doubt that Ed knows that I was awarded the silver star, distinguished flying cross seven air medals and six purple hearts.. he does not even remember. his Marines adored him, that is all that matters. mark conroy, capt, usmc ret

    • What great stories. I imagined from the picture he was this type of leader. Nice to hear it confirmed.

      Thank you for your heroic service. Sounds like you put your life on the line a few times for America.


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