Support Pours In For Oklahoma WWII Vet Learning To Read
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma World War II veteran has been thrust into the national spotlight.
News On 6 caught up with Ed Bray Tuesday and saw first-hand how his life has changed since we last heard from him.
Bray has come a long way since last October. That's when this World War II veteran met Dr. Tobi Thompson at Northeastern State University.
"It's not that I like her, I love her," Bray said.
He's 90 years old, and he's just now learning how to read.
We first met him in March, when his journey to literacy was profiled on the CBS Evening News.
"You ain't never lived hard 'till you go through what I've gone through," Bray said.
Bray's story has now traveled the globe and he has a whole new reading list, including letter from middle-schoolers in New Jersey. Another group of middle school kids in Lawrence, Kansas sent him a package complete with a bright yellow banner and handwritten notes. "You have inspired our school...," one says.
"If I never learn any more, which I'm not saying I won't, this is what I was looking for,to help kids and adults, and it's working," Bray said.
Besides the letters and encouraging notes, Mr. Bray has received books--more than he can count, from educational books on space to Dr. Seuss, and all at his reading level.
The Cappi Wadley Reading Center at NSU is also seeing a boost in popularity. Its summer reading program is already full and two publishing companies have donated thousands of dollars in books to the center.
"I'm very proud of him for stepping forward," said Dr. Thompson.
All these gifts, all this attention has had a deep impact on Bray, and it's a change he's excited about.
"Well, I feel better and I don't have to be afraid to tell people," Bray said.
Bray said, once he finishes reading all of the books he's been given, he plans to donate them to the Wadley Reading Center at NSU.