Family welcomes home 71-year-old Bill Ray from Afghanistan

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Major Bill Ray has retired from the military many times. Just back from a tour of duty overseas, he says at the age of 71, he's now retiring for good.

FOX6 News was there as Ray's family welcomed him home from Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 20th.

Ray's grandchildren were there with "welcome home" signs in hand. They say they're proud of their grandpa.

"I think he's such a good guy that he was able to be in the Army for that long and get to serve the country for awhile," Katie Sadiq said.

Ray joined the Army in 1959, got out in '62, joined the Reserves, got back into the Army in '70, went into MP's and intelligence, "retired" in '90, and became a Department of Army Civilian or DAC, went to Kuwait in the beginning of 2005, served three tours in Iraq, retired to Elkhart Lake, taught in Arizona at the intelligence school, and then last year, headed to Afghanistan at the Army's request.

"This is really exciting and it's been really hard on the children. He sent them postcards three times a week. They all get postcards. He keeps in touch," Sandy Ray, Ray's wife said.

Sandy, Ray's wife of almost 46 years will now have to get used to seeing her husband all the time.

"We've pretty much moved all over. So it will be a big change. Just the stability," Sandy Ray said.

"The last time I got bored, I tried this. So I think they've done everything so I'll never get bored!" Ray said.

Ray turns 72 next month, and his family is planning a big birthday bash!