Salute To Heroes

The email came this week, a reminder from Michael about this year's Salute To Heroes celebration in honor and loving memory of his son, Specialist Ray Joseph Hutchinson. I bought this canvas entitled My Daddy at last year's event. His mom finds great comfort and release in painting these auction donations.

My Daddy by Deborah Hutchinson

A former student of mine, this soldier was a special young man. I told his story here on my fourth of July blog last year; I wrote this poem about Ray Joseph shortly after his life on earth was cut short in combat as he fought for our freedom.

Our Ray Of Light

His light shined brightly through his life,
Ray Joseph was his name.
Our earthly lives without him here
won't ever be the same.

There was a cause, he had to go
to try to make things right.
He said, "It's for the children 
that I have to go and fight."

Ray Joseph joined the Army
and soon he went off to war.
He knew Iraqi Freedom
was what he'd be fighting for.

He served his country proudly 
in the desert from the start.
In the end, 'cause of his courage
he received the Purple Heart.

Ray gave his all in everything; 
he sacrificed his life,
so that people he didn't even know
wouldn't have to live in strife.

Ray Joseph died a hero,
he gave freely out of love.
And now his light shines brightly
with the stars in heaven above.

Each year, his family and friends put on the Salute to Heroes banquet in his honor to raise funds so that students like Ray Joseph can earn a college scholarship to further his vision of making the world a better place. We salute soldiers everywhere on Ray Joseph's behalf. We will n.e.v.e.r. forget!


  1. Good morning, Barbara-Dear:
    Oh my goodness.
    That gave me chills.

    I have one young man who visits me now and then. He was a fourth grader and a fifth grader in my class--and has been a Marine for a number of years. He always stops by to tell me when he is going "back" and then when he has returned "home." He says ".... because I know you you would worry."


    My heart breaks for that family. Would you e-mail the address for the scholarship contribution?

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade


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