Benefits Protection Team Leader – Howard Ray

Howard Ray Pic 01Mr. Ray entered active duty May 5, 1950 at St. Louis, Missouri.  He took Infantry basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas.  Upon completion of basic training, was assigned to the Republic of Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division and performed duty as a Light Weapons Infantryman until his capture by the North Koreans in December 1950.  He was released in January 1951.

Following his release from captivity, Mr. Ray continued his dedication to military service by serving on the continents of Europe and Africa.  He returned to serve again in the land of his captors, on two other occasions.  He also served in the Republic of Viet Nam 1967-68.  His occupational career fields ranged from Infantryman, Personnel Specialist, Chaplain Assistant, Morse Intercept Operator and Instructor, Signal Intelligence Supervisor, to a Chapel Activities Supervisor where he retired as a Sergeant Major at Fort Sam Houston in November 1979

Mr. Ray’s Military Awards include the Combat Infantry Badge, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, 3rd Award, Purple Heart Medal; POW Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 9th Award; National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Badge, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Meritorious Unit Emblem, Vietnam Civil Affairs Ribbon, 50th Korean War Anniversary Medallion, Korean War Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and the Cold War Medal.

Mr. Ray attended St. Philips College, University of Texas at San Antonio, and South West Texas State University.  In June 1981, he was hired as a Recruiter/Instructor by Bexar County Opportunities Industrialization Center Incorporated (BCOIC).  In addition to instructing under privileged teenagers in subjects to pass the General Education Development Test (GED), he was instrumental in the complete renovation of the Administrative Office at 1103 E. Commerce.

In 1982, Mr. Ray entered Civil Service at Fort Sam Houston with the Directorate of Engineering and Housing (DEH) in the Real Estate Management Branch as a Real Property Clerk.  In 1986, he was promoted to Branch Chief and became the Accountable Real Property Officer for Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, Canyon Lake, Camp Stanley and eighteen US Army Reserve Centers located throughout South Texas.  He was responsible for the transition from manual/punch card accounting to Computer operated real property accounting.

In 1991, Mr. Ray was promoted to Contingency Planner with the DEH.  He served as the Installation point of contact on all Engineer matters pertaining to Contingency Operations involving Mass Casualties, General War, Mobilization and Deployment of Personnel and Equipment, Land Defense of CONUS, Military Assistance to Civil Authorities, Directorate of Public Works Emergency Operations Plan, Joint Resource Assessment Data Base, Functional mission requirements for facility utilization and other diverse contingency plans.  Mr. Ray retired September 30, 1997 following forty-five years of Federal Service.

Mr. Ray is very active in the community.  

He served the 20th District, the American Legion, Department of Texas as Commander 1996-1998, Senior Vice Commander,  Adjutant and Member, Board of Trustees, Fred Brock Post 828, currently a Life Member for over 27 years.  
Life Member, Past President and Secretary, 20th District, Past Commanders Club.

Past Cheminot National, Grande Chef de Gare (State Commander), Grande Chef de Train, L’Editeur, Grand Du Texas La Societe des 40 Hommes ET 8 Chevaux, Past Chef de Gare Voiture Locale 542. Life Member.

Member since 1977, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, currently serving as, Stewardship Chairman and Lay Reader. Served as Senior Warden for 3-3 year terms.   

Life Member Military Order Purple Heart.  Past Commander, Chapter 1836, 2002-2003, Past Sgt-At-Arms and Chaplain, Department of Texas, Military Order Purple Heart. Currently serving Trustee and volunteer for the Warrior Family Support Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Life Member, American Ax Prisoners of War, (AXPOW) , Chapter Commander San Antonio Chapter No. 1, 2004 – 2010,  Commander, Department of Texas 2006-2008, and National Director 2006-2008.

Life Member Roy B. Hodges Chapter 128, Disabled American Veterans. Past Chapter Officer of the Day,  Past Chapter Commander 3 years, Currently serving as Senior Vice Commander.  Chairman, Committee on Legislation and Veterans Rights, Disabled American Veterans, Department of Texas.  Alternate Finance Committee Representative, District 5,  2015-2017.  Member, DAV National Committee on Legislation and Veterans Rights.

Life Member, Manchu Association, 2d Infantry Division.

Life Member Edward Robinson Post 5142 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Past Adjutant.  (Recently transferred to Post 2059, Edward Robinson closed)

Life Member,  Non-Commission Officers Association (NCOA).

Past President, Secretary, Finance Officer, Sergeant Major of the Army Leon Van Autreve Sergeant Majors Association, Fort Sam Houston, Charter Member.

Past President, San Antonio Chapter, Blacks In Government (BIG).

Past Vice President, San Antonio ZULU Association, (Sponsors of A Taste of New Orleans during Fiesta San Antonio) currently serving as PMO Commissioner.

Member Fort Sam Houston Retiree Council 1998 – 2015.

Charter Member Bexar County Buffalo Soldier’s Association, Inc, Lecturers, on the history of the 9th and 10 Calvary, 24th and 25th Infantry, and Seminole Indian Scouts during the Indian Wars Period 1866-1892.  A (501c (3) Charitable Organization,   currently serving as Public Affairs Officer and Secretary.  Formed in 1999.

PREMIER Member, Fiesta San Antonio Commission, Inc.
Past Elected Commissioner. Participating Member Organization, (PMO) for the San Antonio Zulu Association, Inc.

Past Sergeant-at-Arms, Veterans Memorial Day Service, Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Past Senior Advisor, U.S. Military Veterans Parade Association, San Antonio, TX.

Past Director Security, MLK March San Antonio Texas 2006-2009.

Past Member, CPS Advisory Committee, District 2 Representative, 2006 –2013.

Past President, Van Courtlandt Club, the oldest continuing Black Social Club in Texas. Formed in 1915, currently serving as Auxiliary Liaison, sponsors for an Annual Debutant Cortere since 1972. Secretary for the Van Courtlandt Club Foundation, a 501C(3) Corporation,

Past Military Affairs Representative, San Antonio Chapter,
NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet Committee 2010.  Silver Life Member.

Life Member, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 366, Served
as Chairman of the Scholarship Committee 2010 – 2015.

Life Member, Alamo Chapter 298, Korean War Veterans Association.

Mr. Ray is married to the former Gloria L. Pryor of San Antonio, and they have a blended family of Seven children, 16 grand children and twelve great grand children.