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Folds of Honor scholarship helps SIU-Edwardsville student pursue dentistry

"At first I wondered if there were other people that deserved it better than I,” said David Ray. “I had friends. I had people I knew that didn't come home."

MILLSTADT, Ill. — A Millstadt family is thankful to a foundation that stepped up to fund a special dream.

In the Ray household, every interaction between David Ray, and his son Spreed, serves as a lesson.

"He's always told me I'm not supposed to be your friend,” said Spreed Ray. “I'm supposed to be your father."

That even applies to a simple game of pool.

"There's dedication,” said David Ray. “There's commitment. Whenever you do something, you follow through no matter how hard it is. There's always going to be challenges. Believe me, you're going to make mistakes."

That's a lesson David learned during life in the Army.

"It was great to pay for college,” said David Ray. “I didn't plan on staying in as long as I did."

"He was in for 27 and a half years,” said Spreed Ray.

"It took me to Poland, all over the world to Germany, Afghanistan a couple of times,” said David Ray. “The training, the experience, and the knowledge of dealing with so many different people was very beneficial."

Dale's years of selfless service influenced Spreed into pursuing a degree in dentistry at SIU-Edwardsville, so he can also help others.

"I like seeing how just 30 minutes of work can really change someone's life,” said Spreed Ray.

The selflessness of this father and son caught the eye of Folds of Honor, which rewarded Spreed with a $5,000 scholarship.

"It means a lot to me because it's because of what my dad did,” said Spreed Ray.

"At first I wondered if there were other people that deserved it better than I,” said David Ray. “I had friends, I had people I knew that didn't come home from serving."

"He risked his life for two years,” said Spreed Ray. “He risked losing his family for two years. They're recognizing him for his service."

Service that's continuing to teach Spreed an invaluable lesson in and out of school.

"I want to do well in it because I have to do well to be a dentist, but also because it's not my money I'm riding on,” said Spreed Ray.

"I want that to be something he always remembers,” said David Ray.  “There is always somebody making a sacrifice.  There is always somebody doing something.  Nothing is ever free."

If you would like to donate to Folds of Honor you can donate now through May 30 by rounding up at the register at your local Schnucks.

5 on Your Side is a proud partner of the Schnucks ‘Folds of Honor’ campaign.

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