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Joining The Ranks

Cindy Ramunno
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyChris Best and Ray Winsor, both seniors at Eagle Valley High School, have enlisted in the armed forces.
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Eagle Valley High School seniors Chris Best and Ray Winsor love America. Their futures will include serving their country ” with honor and pride.

Best of the best

Chris Best is heading off to Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., in the fall. Norwich offers students a traditional route or the Corps of Cadets program. “I think it’s the best decision for later on in life as far as pursuing a career and getting a better education,” Best says. He’s not alone in his thinking. Many in the military know that Norwich was the birthplace of the popular ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program. The school offers students many choices and paths throughout the educational process.

Best grew up with his younger brother, Brendan, who also attends EVHS. Raised by parents Joel and Susan, Best says that his parents have always emphasized to him and his brother to “keep working hard ” nothing is out of reach if you keep working at it.”

Since Best doesn’t know what career path he wants to follow, his mind is open and he’s ready to work hard. He says he’ll miss his mom’s cooking the most, along with the company of his friends. Yet he’s up to the challenge of Norwich. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people,” he says. Best thinks his math and science classes at EVHS have prepared him for life on campus. Over the summer, Best will work for Scott Green Excavating, then he heads out to Vermont. He’ll be missed on the football and lacrosse fields, as well as on the wrestling mat by coaches and teammates.

“Chris is a lot of fun to be around,” says head wrestling coach Ron Beard. “What he brought to our team was leadership, hard work, a great sense of humor and a great attitude,” he says. Best is also known a sensitive thinker with an inquisitive sense of adventure. “The structured environment at Norwich will be perfect for Chris ” he’s a great student, great athlete and very self-disciplined,” Beard says.

Anchors aweigh

“Ray works hard every day,” EVHS football coach John Ramunno says. Ram Winsor has enlisted in the Navy and will start serving in August. “Ray is extremely respectful and dependable. He also

has a gift with young kids. He’s a great role model and he always brings a positive outlook to school and to life,” Ramunno says.

Winsor worked at Gypsum Creek Middle School through the PACE program at EVHS. Staff members at both schools agree that Winsor is very good with younger children. That’s one of the many things Winsor will cherish about home. “I will also miss my friends and the small-town atmosphere,” Winsor says. But those things aren’t slowing Winsor down. He can hardly wait to get started in the Navy’s boot camp. “I’m excited about every aspect of the Navy,” he says with a smile.

Winsor followed his parents’ advice throughout high school and hopes his younger brother, Matthew, and younger sister, Ashley, will do the same. “My parents always say, ‘Do what you want. Don’t get sucked into traps with drugs and alcohol. Do what you think is best,'” Winsor says. His mom, Kim, was initially worried about Winsor enlisting, but now is excited for him.

“I kept praying and turned it over to the Lord. Now, I know this is the best place for him and that he will be very successful in life,” she sys. His coaches and teachers agree.

“He will be successful,” Ramunno says. “Whatever Ray chooses to do in life, he will succeed.”

The Vail Valley salute Best and Winsor.

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