1957-1958 Ray's college freshman year was spent at New Mexico A&M, now New Mexico State at Las Cruces. His brother was a student at New Mexico A&M. There was a college in Alpine where he graduated high school and where his Dad was a professor. He indicated that, like most kids, he wanted to get out of the house and somewhat be on his own like his big brother. He received a band scholarship from New Mexico A&M and worked at various jobs on campus for extra money. He would make the rounds to the junk stores for old electrical appliances, rebuild them and re-sell them. He states that his studies did not seem that important to him. He was known to have the nicest, most modern, dorm room on campus. He said that if he had a nice fancy place to live, he might get interested in studying.
Even though his parents were teachers, he remembers that grades were very seldom talked about. Plus, he thought that he was an extremely poor reader. He said he did not read a book from cover to cover until he finished 39 hours of graduate school.
Besides being in the band his freshman year in college, Ray was amember of the Air Force ROTC Drill Team.
Officer Training School, United States Air Force
1962-65 Officer Training School (OTS), United States Air Force, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Commissioned, 2nd Lt. While waiting to go to OTS, Tom worked in the accounting department at Sweeny Food Wholesale in San Antonio. After he received his commission, Tom volunteered to stay at Lackland and was assigned as a Basic Training Officer. From there, he became an Administrative Services Officer and then a Third-party Claims Officer for the Judge Advocate's office. He progressed up to being assigned as the Assistant Chief Administrative Services Officer, Headquarters, Lackland AFB. When the Chief Administrative Services Officer was not there, which he says was most of the time, it was his job to represent Administrative Services at the Base General's staff meeting along with Majors, Lieutenant Colonels, and Bird Colonels. Tom said,
"Along with all that brass, I was asked to give my opinion and I spoke up when
I thought it was necessary. I was in my element. I was where I was supposed to be."
While at Lackland AFB, he went to St. Mary's University at night to work toward a Master's degree in Business Management and Marketing. There Tom accumulated 39 graduate hours toward a Master's.