Bus takes friends and family from Little Falls to the game
by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Since the Minnesota Twins moved to their new ballpark in 2010, the team honors veterans by inviting them to raise the flag prior to home games.
Ray Stumpf of Little Falls was honored Saturday, April 13, as he raised the United States flag prior to the Twins’ game against the Mets.
Stumpf and more than 30 of his friends and family travelled to Minneapolis, most of them riding on a chartered bus.
“We were anxious to see Ray and he looked magnificent,” said Susy Prosapio. “It was hard to describe, it was so fabulous.”
Twins marketing coordinator Elma Avila contacted Stumpf when she received his name from a Little Falls community member.
“He had a large crowd out there to support him,” Avila said. “He’s a wonderful man.”
Stumpf started his naval career in July 1975, as a hospital corpsman. He changed jobs in mid-career to an engineer’s aide in the construction battalions (or Seabees, as they are more commonly known). He wrapped up his career as a construction diver with Underwater Construction Team One. He retired as a First Class Engineers Aide in February 1998.
After returning to Little Falls, Stumpf spent 12 years as the industrial technology instructor at the Little Falls Community Middle School. He is currently on a leave of absence due to his battle with cancer.
Stumpf has been married for 31 years to Barb, and they have two daughters, Naomi and Joy.
He currently spends his time volunteering for the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery Art Project at Camp Ripley.
Stumpf will receive a video of the flag-raising in the mail as a keepsake of the event.
“Although it was an honor to be able to raise the American flag at a Minnesota Twins game, the real joy was seeing all of the friends, family, classmates, students and community members at the game in support of me and my battle with cancer,” Stumpf said. “We live in an amazing community. I feel so blessed to be a part of it.”
“As chilly as it was, it just made us feel good to see Ray,” Prosapio said. “It was the warmest cold day at the ballpark.”