Official recognition of his decades of service to not just the North Coast but also various places around the world, Ray Shackelford graciously accepts his induction into the Fort Sill Artillery OCS Alumni Hall of Fame award.
By Brian Cameron
Started in 1968 the Hall of Fame achievement was created to honor the heroism and exceptional achievement of its graduates and recognizes the outstanding contributions of the inductees to the country.
“It was really quite the surprise to me,” said Shackelford. “They got me and my whole family out there for the ceremony at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.”
The achievement award, to date, has only been given to 1,092 inductees thus far since its creation in 1968, however in Shackelford’s case what makes the achievement exceptional is that only 81 awards have been given to non-career military recipients thus far.
Shackelford has held an extensive past both in and outside of the walls of the US Military. After being drafted into the OCS and sent to Vietnam as a Second Lieutenant, he had taken a hit while out in the field and was sent to Japan to heal, he was then sent back to Vietnam as an Executive Officer of a field artillery battery and at one point liberated in Ahn Khé, at one point according to Shackelford he ‘moved a grenade’ which got the attention of his superiors and achieved a silver-star award, after that incident he was sent to a hospital in New York to repair damage sustained during the grenade ordeal to his inner ear.
Though impressive, and deserving of merit, his time during Vietnam was only one reason he was being recognized, and Shackelford believes most of the work he’s being noticed for involves much of his time out of the service.
“My work with children and orphanages in places like Cambodia, Philippines and other places like Haiti and Tanzania are probably going to be a real lasting achievement,” said Shackelford. “I’ve started an orphanage in Cambodia and have helped with some in the Philippines too.”
His work specifically in Tanzania in a town north of Bagamoyo on the mainland east African coastline brought crop irrigation and propensity for drinking water to be a reality for the towns people there. Shackelford has made it his life’s work to serve underprivileged areas to help raise the quality of life for children and families in need.
In 1991 Shackelford bought the Nehalem Bay Winery from its creator Pat McCoy who had built the winery up on creating fine dessert wines, since Shackelford took over he has added much more classic vintage styles including cabernet, pinot noir, chardonnay and champagne to the menu at Nehalem Bay Winery.
The Fort Sill Artillery OCS Alumni Hall of Fame is a sought after achievement of some of the highest ranks in the US Military including myriad colonels, generals and other career military personnel. Included within the Hall of Fame are notable names like (Ret.) General Tommy Franks, (Ret.) General John M. Shalikashvili amongst others who’ve made serving their country their life’s work.
According to Shackelford what made this a strangely serendipitous event was that in May 12, 1967 he was shot while on duty in Vietnam, and on May 12, 2017 he accepted recognition for his years of service to the US Military, his county and indeed the world.