When Ray Downs of Brawley was a young Marine Corps sergeant far from home fighting in the Korean War, he could not possibly see into a future where he would be retelling his wartime experiences to an audience of school children.
On Tuesday, Downs, together with other local Korean War veterans, gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in El Centro for a "Patriotic Day" celebration with the students.
As commander of Korean War Veterans Chapter 102, Imperial Valley, Downs was the organizing force behind Tuesday's remembrance activities at the school.
Standing on stage in the school cafeteria, Downs looked down on an audience of fourth- and fifth-graders who clearly found Downs' retelling of his wartime experiences to be fascinating stuff.