We had the good fortune of connecting with Ray Bennett II and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ray, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind our success is dependability. Anyone who knows us will tell you that if we say we will be there, they know no matter what, we will show up.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In my professional life, I currently work as an Energy Marshal for 3 data centers in Arizona. Getting to my position was not an easy road. I started from the very bottom and without a college education or technical training, I rose to my position through working in the field and gaining years of knowledge and experience. In 2014 I decided to pursue a college degree and accomplished my Bachelor in Psychological Sciences and a minor in Sociology, in 2019, I am currently working on a Masters of Science in Mental Health and Wellness with an emphasis of prevention and am scheduled to graduate in May 2021. What sets me apart from others is that our organization has no paid employees, everyone who operates the organization does it on a volunteer basis, including me and the Vice-President Javier Rosa. My pursuit for higher education is not to excel myself in my professional career, it is to enable me to better understand and serve the veterans who come to us for help. The most important lesson I’ve learned through the years is to pursue things in life that makes me happy.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was coming out for a week I definitely would take them scuba diving and to our ranches, we would also make it a point to visit Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. The first day we would hang out locally in the Phoenix area we would start off the day eating breakfast at Crackle Barrel, lunch at Rudy’s BBQ, and finish the day off with dinner from Torta Paquime for some delicious rib-eye tacos, while just hanging out at my house to catch up. The second day we would get up early and head up to Lake Pleasant for a day of Scuba Diving, while up there after our dives we would grab some great food form Dillons Kansas City BBQ, most likely we would be to tired to do anything else for the day so we would head back to the house to relax. Starting on the 3rd day, we would head north to visit, Sedona, Flagstaff and go visit the Grand Canyon, eating at interesting places we see along the way. From the Grand Canyon we would head east to visit our 40 acre ranch where we would stay for a couple of days to explore and relax, eating campfire meals. The last leg of our journey we would head south to one of our board member’s cattle ranch, where on horseback we would assist in herding cattle and taking care of any ranch duties that need to be completed. Again, we would be eating campfire meals while there. The final day of the visit, we head back into Phoenix and dropping my guest off at the airport.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to thank Bryan Chaplin “Chappy”, Founder of Bravo Brotherhood non-profit veterans foundation. He has been a great supporter of the Diving Devil Dogs and in partnership with Chappy, we have accomplished things what others say can’t be done.

Website: www.dddus.org
Instagram: #divingdevildogs
Linkedin: Diving Devil Dogs of Arizona
Twitter: @divingdevildogs
Facebook: Diving Devil Dogs of Arizona
Youtube: Diving Devil Dogs
Other: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/diving-devil-dogs-of-arizona https://www.guidestar.org/profile/81-3558836 https://communityengagement.education.asu.edu/partner-organization/diving-devil-dogs-arizona

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