Community, The Braxton Democrat

County to Observe Veterans Day this Friday

Central WV Aging Services has announced that Ray Clifford Strader will be the Parade Marshal for the annual Veterans Day Parade which will be held on Friday November 11th at 11 a.m. in Gassaway. Parade lineup will begin at 10 a.m. A luncheon will immediately follow the parade at the Braxton County Armory. Anyone planning to attend the luncheon should RSVP with the number attending by calling Shelly at (304)765-3668.
CWVAS has also released the name of the Veterans’ Luncheon keynote speaker for this year. It will be Sergeant First Class Chris Shortall. Sgt. Shortall is a 2001 Graduate of Braxton County High School and has 22 years of service in the Army National Guard.
He holds Military Occupational Specialties in Combat Engineer, Horizontal Construction Engineer, Carpentry-Masonry Specialist, Military Police and Human Resources.
Sgt. Shortall has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, 6 Army Commendation Medals, 4 Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
He is currently the recruiter and career counselor for Braxton, Gilmer, Calhoun, and Clay Counties.
Ray Strader was born May 21, 1932 on Road Run Road in Orlando, WV. His parents were Linzy and Mae Strader. He had 12 siblings and now lives on Happy Hollow Road, Orlando. Ray attended Grade School at Orlando and went to Burnsville High School where he graduated in May 1951. Mr. Strader married Jean (Stalnaker) St5rader on June 03, 1953 and was married for 60 year5s, 6 months, and 6 days. Ray and Jean had two sons Alan and Mark Strader, eight grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Ray joined the army in January 1953 and was discharged in January 1955. He was sent to Fort Hood Texas for Basic Training. After five days of Boot Camp, he was sent to the Motor Pool to teach the men how to drive jeep up to 70 mm Tanks. He had to teach 37 men how to drive because there were only three of them that could drive. Ray states that when they hit the firing range, it was total chaos. No one knew how to do anything. After they fired the first round the Division Commander asked Ray where he had learned how to shoot. Ray told his Commander from shooting squirrels. After that, this became Ray’s job for the next two years. He would teach others to drive a jeep and handle firearms. He was also given night duty that lasted four months. Ray said that he had to qualify on all of the weapons in the division. His score was 800 and he qualified in the top on the 70 mm with a score of 773.
After being discharged, he worked two years in Clarksburg and took classes in Industrial Electronics. He then went to work in Pittsburgh for a Steel Mill where he worked for 37 years. During that time he did many different jobs including line foreman and line keeper. After the mill closed, he worked at the Pittsburgh Airport as a Security Supervisor. The Airport later moved to a different location and Ray stayed long enough to set up the security machinery at the new Airport location. Immediately after, Ray retired and resides in Orlando, WV.
Ray is now an member of the American Legion Post #33 (Braxton). He joined in 1994 and continues to be active serving in different capacities. He has been the Commander of the American Legion for over twelve years ad currently serves with the Color Guard assisting with funerals for Veteran.
For more information regarding the Veterans Day Parade and reception contact Shelly at (304)765-3271 or e-mail [email protected].
Following the parade, a special dedication ceremony will take place on the Courthouse lawn at 2:00 p.m. A plaque will be unveiled to honor Braxton County native and Department of Natural Resources Officer Wesley C. Frame Jr. who was killed November 10, 1978 while stationed in Monroe County. In Honor of Officer Frame, a Gassaway High School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran, the West Virginia NRP Officers Association commissioned the memorial marker that will be dedicated on the Braxton County Courthouse square.