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Ray welcomed back home

CSM Rex Ray is greeted by family and friends during a welcome home service Saturday afternoon in Clanton.

CSM Rex Ray was welcomed home from his third deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan during a program Saturday afternoon at the Clanton Recreation Center.

Ray has spent more than 27 years in the United States Army. His most recent deployment was from May 2010 to May 2011 in Afghanistan.

Saturday’s celebration featured songs, prayers and remarks from Ray’s friends and family.

“Today, if anyone feels loved, if anyone feels appreciated, it’s me,” Ray said at the program’s conclusion.

Chilton County Commissioner Bobby Agee also presented Ray with a key to the city of Clanton in honor of his military service.

Ray’s wife, Carolyn, was also recognized for her work helping wives who have lost husbands in Iraq and Afghanistan and taking care of the family during Ray’s time overseas.

“A welcome home in the military means a lot when your soldier comes home in one piece,” said Carolyn Ray.

For more photos, see Wednesday’s edition of The Clanton Advertiser.