Arvie Ray Vestal
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 07/20/1943 - 12/24/1945
Supply Sergeant, 38th Engineer General Services Regiment

He was born in Hughes Springs, Texas, to Allie and Ludie Vestal, on a farm where he hoed and picked cotton. Ray finished the 10th grade. At 18, HE entered the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Stationed in Colorado, he built dams and worked timber. He was paid $30 a month, of which $25 was deducted and sent to his parents. After six months he was sent to a CCC camp in Mount Pleasant, Texas. Later, Ray started farming, and met Lilly Bell Nast on a blind date at an all-day singing. They married on October 22, 1938, and would have two children, one grandchild, and one great-grandchild. Ray entered the U.S. Army in July of 1943. After basic training at Camp Albert in Oregon, he was sent overseas as part of Company F, 38th Engineers, General Service Regiment. He entered France at Normandy a few days after the invasion there on June 6, 1944. Ray helped find and detonate booby traps and other explosives across France and into Germany. He was promoted to a T-5 sergeant ranking. Ray was discharged on December 24, 1945 at Camp Fannin in Tyler, Texas. After the war he worked for Austin Bridge Company and later for Lone Star Steel.