#VeteranOfTheDay Navy Veteran Ray Severson


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Ray Severson. Ray served during World War II and the Korean War.

Ray was born the oldest of seven children in Fargo, North Dakota. In the 10th grade, Ray dropped out of school and began apprenticing as a watchmaker before joining the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at 17. His work with the CCC took him across the mid-west before he took a job as an Aviation Metalsmith in Los Angeles, California. A year later, following US involvement in World War II, Ray enlisted with the United States Navy.

Ray was assigned to the USS Admiral E. W. Eberle transport ship and served in the Pacific. After the war, he enlisted with the Naval Reserves and earned his private pilot’s license in 1948.

In 1950, following the start of the Korean War, Ray was called into active service and stationed at Naval Station Stangley Point in Cavite City, Philippines. There, he served aboard a Martin PBM Mariner flying boat and was responsible for patrolling the coast of China for enemy activity.

Ray was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserves in 1956 and married his wife, who he met while stationed in the Philippines.

After moving back to his home town of Fargo, North Dakota, Ray took a job as a union plumber. In 1960, while working a job, he was severely injured in a natural gas explosion. After recovering, he began working for Honeywell, installing thermostats until retiring in 1987.  After his retirement, Ray began teaching welding at Moorhead Area Vocational Technical School.

Ray passed away on Oct. 8, 2018, at the age of 96.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

Photo Illustration created by VSFS graphic design intern Joe Misko


Nicholas Rogers-Dillon

Nicholas Rogers-Dillon is a senior studying Philosophy and Political Science at Brooklyn College. He is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and is currently working as a writing intern at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, hoping to pursue a career in public service.