Semper Fi, Ray Vivier

Semper Fi, Ray Vivier

This is a discussion on Semper Fi, Ray Vivier within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; i wasn't sure what forum to put this in. mods, please move if this is the wrong place. i don't often read stories in the ...

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Thread: Semper Fi, Ray Vivier

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    the raggedy edge

    Semper Fi, Ray Vivier

    i wasn't sure what forum to put this in. mods, please move if this is the wrong place.

    i don't often read stories in the news that bring a tear to my eye. i felt that many of you here should see it.

    it's been a long time since i read a news story that brought a tear to my eye. i read this story, and felt you all needed to see it, too.

    Homeless veteran who saved 5 in fire laid to rest - Yahoo! News

    ARLINGTON, Va. – Ray Vivier had been an adventurer, a Marine veteran who explored the country from South Carolina to Alaska, the father of five children.

    The 61-year-old also was a man starting to get his life back together after living for years in a shanty beneath a Cleveland bridge. He had struggled with alcoholism, but by November he had a welding job, friends and a place to stay at a boarding house.

    He rescued five people from that house when arsonists set it ablaze — but Vivier couldn't save himself. He and three others died, and two people have been charged in their deaths. Vivier's body, unclaimed and unidentified for weeks, seemed destined for an anonymous, modest burial.

    However, Jody Fesco — who met Vivier while she was volunteering at a soup kitchen and had even invited him to her wedding — heard that Vivier may have died. Fesco and her husband contacted their friend Haraz Ghanbari, an Associated Press photographer, about the situation. Ghanbari took the lead to make sure Vivier wasn't forgotten, tracking down the family members and arranging a proper funeral.

    On Friday, Vivier's ashes were inurned at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

    "You can see from what he did that he definitely had a good heart," said Mercedes Cruz, Vivier's ex-wife of 23 years, who attended the funeral with the couple's children. "No matter what our difficulties were in our marriage, I'm very proud of what's happened."

    For his grown children — who now are scattered around the country — Vivier had been gone for about 15 years. They know of his heroism now — but they don't know much about the man he was trying to become. They remember their dad's struggles with alcohol and other troubles.

    "What I'm trying to get out of this is to have one good, concrete memory that I can have of him for what he did to save those people," said his oldest daughter, Elisha Vivier. "I'm proud of the man that he was becoming."

    Vivier was a private in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965 and 1966, though he didn't see combat. He was stationed at Parris Island, S.C., Cruz said.

    After his discharge, Vivier spent years working as a machinist, welder, iron worker and other tough jobs. He loved the outdoors and moved his family from Alaska to Oregon.

    "He was just adventurous," Cruz said. "He loved to see different places and see what it was like to live there."

    When he was homeless in Cleveland, he was proud to have one of the best shanties around, said Fesco, 29, who met Vivier at a soup kitchen.

    "We hit if off right away," she said.

    She took Vivier home for Christmas one year and later invited him to her wedding. Vivier was genuine, she said, "a real gentle spirit.

    "He was trying to get himself out of some struggles — some struggles with alcohol — and just do better for himself, and he was, which was fantastic," Fesco said.

    Ghanbari, who is an ensign in the U.S. Navy, helped arrange for Vivier's remains to be placed in a columbarium wall at Arlington National Cemetery. The site overlooks the Pentagon with the National Cathedral and Washington Monument in the distance.

    At the military service, seven Marines fired three rifle shots, and a bugler played taps. Elisha Vivier carried a gold urn with her father's ashes to the wall and placed them inside, alongside the remains of thousands of veterans.

    Ray Vivier was quiet, friends said, but people knew who he was. Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman met Vivier years ago while working as a social worker. He said Vivier was quiet, yet kind and compassionate. More than 125 people attended a memorial service weeks after the fire in Cleveland.

    "It was a huge blow for the community. This was one of our neighbors who people cared about and knew," Cimperman said. "We're less because he's gone."

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Las Vegas NV
    I never served in the military, but Mr Vivier gets a big salute from me. Semper Fi, Marine!
    "We are the people our parents warned us about!" J. Buffett

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Our county Veterans Affairs Officer is a member of our church and works tirelessly to locate and help veterans receive every benefit they are entitled to.

    I have personal seen him and his wife carry veterans to the VA hospital who have no other way to get there.

    They lead the Adopt a Unit program in our county and we have supported a Army unit in Iraq which has now come home to Ft.Hood.

    This is the second year they led the toys for deployed troop's children at Ft. Hood's Christmas party.

    Taking 3 pick up loads of toys donated by the kind and loving folks of our county for the annually Christmas party at Ft. Hood.

    They both have their CHL and carry where every it is legal and enjoy going to the range with their pastor and wife.

    There are many vets that struggle with issues and need help.

    The man in this account was getting his life back on track and died saving others, may he be welcome into the Rest of the Lord!!!!
    I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
    -J.R.R. Tolkien

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  5. #4
    Member Array NosaMSirhC's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Rest in peace, Devil Dog.


    Be Safe,

    "In a crisis, you will not rise to the occasion, but you will default to the level of your training."

  6. #5
    Member Array 2ndAmend's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    I read this story yesterday and was filled with pride. As a Marine, and knowing what we go through everyday it makes me feel good that even after so many years and many hardships that this HERO still gave up his life to save a life. To me that’s a true Marine. Semper Fi Marine and guard those gates well.

  7. #6
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    Thanks for the story jahwarrior72

    Very touching and makes you proud, that even someone troubled in life, still had the courage and wherewithal to do what he did.
    Glad to hear Jody Fesco, her husband, and the AP photogrrapher, Haraz Ghanbari
    were able to get the job done, and get him to a woderful place of rest

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
    - Dr. Seuss
    I would rather die with good men than hide with cowards
    If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans
    Don't ever think that the reason I'm peaceful is because I don't know how to be violent

    M&Pc .357SIG, 2340Sigpro .357SIG

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array aznav's Avatar
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    Wow! "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Eccl. 10:2

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Semper Fi!

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  10. #9
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    Semper Fi brother!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

  11. #10
    Member Array CorpsVet's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Over the hill
    Semper Fi! Rest in peace Brother.
    If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will sit in a boat and drink beer.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Anybody that would put their life on the line to save a stranger shows that no matter what it was that caused him to be the way he was for so long that he was an honorable man and may he rest in peace
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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