BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Editor’s note: The below interview excerpt is from Davis, 13, an Air Force Global Strike Command child, who had the opportunity to chat with the Rays at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
Davis: Hi General, I’m Davis. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. What do you want to say to military children during the month of the military child?
General Ray: You have our deepest respect and admiration. We have four kids of our own and we’ve lived all over the world; we know how hard it can be, and what a chore it is to pick up and move, and to leave friends. It may seem that just as you’re making friends, it’s time to go. But, I say, look forward to the chance to see a good part of the world that most people won’t get to see. So there’s a lot of good along with the challenges.
Davis: Mrs. Ray, school’s out for the pandemic. What advice do you have for military parents who now are also teachers?
Mrs Ray: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Kids are learning. It may not seem like they’re learning, but they really are learning. You can learn anywhere, even doing science experiments in your yard. There are plenty of great books, even audiobooks. Just figure out other ways, besides traditional books and classes, to advance education.
Davis: General Ray, my friend’s dad is deployed. What advice do you have for military kids that are trying to get through a deployment?
General Ray: Well the advice I’d give is to stay connected to their mom or dad that’s deployed through social media, or another outlet like FaceTime or Zoom. Stay connected to friends; stay engaged in all your activities, and be ready to share all those experiences and all those good results of what happened to you. Because, having been deployed, it's always great to hear what your kids are doing. It means a lot when a deployed parent can hear what’s happening. It keeps people close.
Davis: General: Fortnite or Minecraft?
General Ray: Minecraft.
Davis: Paintball or Nerfwar?
General Ray: Paintball.
Davis: Memes or emojis?
General Ray: Memes, of course.
Davis: Mrs. Ray, beaches or mountains?
Mrs. Ray: Mountains.
Davis: French toast or pancakes?
Mrs. Ray: Pancakes.
Davis: Netflix or reading a book?
Mrs. Ray: Reading a book.
Davis: General, what’s your favorite thing about military kids?
General Ray: I think one of the things I most admire is that they get to see the world. They really see things, and they understand what’s really going on in the world. They understand how great they have it here in America; how beautiful this place is and all the opportunities we have. They get to see things from a sense of reality. For example, when we were in Europe, our kids got to see history. So when you talk to a military kid, they sometimes know a lot more than their peers; it’s just so fun to talk to them.
General Ray, Mrs. Ray, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us about military kids.