TMF Staff Spotlight: Ray Edgar, Warrior PATHH Guide

What town do you live in? 

Farmington, Maine

What do you do at the Foundation? 

I am a Warrior PATHH (Progressive & Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) Guide.

Have you done similar work in the past?  

I have experience teaching, mentoring, helping, and leading others from my service in the U.S. Army as a Non-Commissioned Officer. However, nothing is quite like being a PATHH Guide.

How long have you worked at the Foundation?

In January 2024, it will be 3 years.

What's your favorite part of working at TMF?

I can’t say one so I will say two. The people including the staff and the volunteers and the mission to serve veterans, their families and first responders. The people and the mission at TMF enable me to fulfill my purpose and give me a sense of belonging that was missing from my life when I retired from the U.S. Army after 27 years. I see everyone at TMF as my family like I did the Paratroopers I served with.

Do you have a favorite story you'd like to share from your time here?  

I was serving as a volunteer in 2020 and remember “trying out” mowing the lawn at the Retreat using the zero turn mower. Chris (Roseberry, Facilities Director) was watching me, so I was about as nervous and focused as I had ever been in high-risk training in the Army. He had me drive the mower without the blades rotating until he was confident in my ability to follow the lines on the lawn perfectly. Once I mastered that skill I was allowed to actually mow the lawn. He gave me the nod to start mowing and I drove off on this highly sensitive mission. After about an hour of making absolutely perfect lines and experiencing a great sense of pride, I realized I had never actually turned the mower blades on. The first thing that came to mind was something I used to say in the Army: “Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.”

That’s something I won’t forget any time soon. Well, let’s make it two stories. Then there was the time I was volunteering in the kitchen and couldn’t get the saran wrap to tear off the roll, I had about three more feet than I needed by the time I figured out how to tear it off … it was like I was wrestling an alligator and Head Chef Hannah just looked over and said, “You OK over there bud?”

What is your favorite feature of the Retreat/Foundation?

Serving as a Warrior PATHH Guide is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life. To make the experience even better, 15 people that I served with in Iraq and one Gold Star wife from my unit that is on active duty in the Army have come through our program. I have profound gratitude to TMF and the Warrior PATHH team for serving these people that I love so deeply.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I have a very healthy fear of heights and served as a Paratrooper, jumpmaster and rappelled from helicopters during my Army career. I am still a little baffled how I did those things but if I have to climb a ladder now it can become a bit of an ordeal.