CLEVELAND, OH – Every day, dozens of people visit the U.S.S. Cod in downtown Cleveland. But, it’s not often they get a welcome like the one James Ray received.
"I was kind of amazed to see that, really amazed,” he recalls.
Ten sailors from the U.S. Navy stood at attention while saluting as he walked over to the submarine.
James is a World War II veteran and served aboard the U.S.S. Cod’s sister ship, the U.S.S. Cero.
"I was a radio man, communications,” he said.
Ray’s family set up the tour for him on Sunday. They wanted to see what his life was like in the Navy.
"This means a lot to him when his family is together and he remembers a lot, a lot from that time. If you start to talk to him about his time serving in the navy, he can tell you details,” said Ray’s daughter Carolyn McBee.
She said he never really talked about his experiences when she was a kid, but as they’ve gotten older he’s become more open.
One story she said she’ll never forget is when he was called away to play the trumpet.
"I was scheduled of course to be on submarines and they needed a trumpet player in the local band there, a small group of about seven people. So they found out I played, so I went in that band. That's where I worked all the time,” he said.
If that hadn’t happened, he wouldn’t be here today. The sub he was supposed to be on at that time later sank.
"I was very glad I wasn't on it because everybody on it was lost,” said Ray.
He eventually left the service, but he said he was happy to do his part and is proud of those who’ve taken over since then.
"They give their lives of course. They dedicate their lives to their country That's what it’s all about for them. The United States,” he said.
To learn more about the U.S.S. Cod, CLICK HERE.