Ray was a soldier from North Carolina. He was part of Jorge Rodriguez's platoon. In 1944, as the platoon was retreating through Georgia and into Alabama, Ray received an anonymous letter from someone back home that his ladylove, Thelma Lou, was cheating on Ray with a mechanic. In Statesboro, Ray shared his desire to dessert with Rodriguez and kill Thelma Lou's boyfriend. Rodriguez warned him that if Ray did dessert, he'd be caught and immediately executed.
This was not the first time Thelma Lou had stepped out on Ray.