Lt. Raymond “Iggy” Enners, Courage and Sacrifice of a West Point Graduate in Vietnam
Author: Richard W. Enners
Hardcover: 256 pages
Product Dimensions: 6" x 9"
Retail Price: $26.95
Heart of Gray was written to honor the life of 1Lt. Raymond J. Enners who, after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, served his country with the Americal Division in Vietnam, where he was killed in the ine of duty at the age of twenty-two.
A natural leader, Ray was a world class football and lacrosse player who won honors in high school and later won honors playing lacrosse at West Point. Today, the USILA annually presents the First LT. Raymond J. Enners Award for the best intercollegiate lacrosse player in the nation-some call it the Heisman Trophy of lacrosse.
Heart of Gray presents a gripping account of his distinguished life…from his formative high school years, through his cadet life at West Point where he honed his leadership skills, to the events leading to his death in the paddy fields of Vietnam where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest award for valor.
Written by his younger brother Rich, who is also a West Point graduate, Heart of Gray embodies the ideals of Duty, Honor, Country learned by every member of the Long Gray Line—a code that Ray Enners embraced and is still being taught to future leaders of America’s military.
Richard Enners grew up in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1971, and served five years in the Army with the 9th Division in Fort Lewis, Washington and the United States Military Academy Preparatory School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He later pursued a career in business, initially sales and marketing, and eventually led companies with revenues of $60M-$120M in Japan, British Columbia, and the USA.
Enners wrote Heart of Gray not to invoke sorrow, not to tally his brother’s awards and accolades, but to honor his brother and to inspire others to live their lives with a purpose just as Ray did and to make a difference in the lives of others.
Richard has two sons, Sean and Ryan, Sean living in Golden, Colorado and Ryan in Bedford, New Hampshire. Richard and his wife Judy currently reside in Bedford, New Hampshire.
Speech and book signing on 14 March with the Knoxville Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars
Speech and book signing on 6 September with the Knoxville Chapter of the American Legion.
Enners article on how soldiers acquire their warrior instincts for Inside Lacrosse
The very core of leadership is character. Throughout Heart of Gray
you will experience character at its finest, from the roots of Ray’s youth to his values-based leadership approach on the fields of battle.
—Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach, Duke University Men’s Basketball
Heart of Gray pays tribute to the exceptional life and leader development of US Army 1st Lieutenant Ray Enners. It highlights the noble character and values that made him a selfless and courageous servant leader of the first order and an American Hero.
—Joseph M. DePinto, West Point Class of 1986, President and CEO, 7-Eleven, Inc.
Lieutenant Ray Enners epitomizes what it means to be a leader of character and to “choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.” Heart of Gray wonderfully captures LT Enners’ courage and life of selfless service to others and to country. His life of duty, and honor, and country will inspire future generations and all who read his story to renewed levels of selfless service and sacrifice to each other and to our Nation.
—Robert L. Caslen, Jr., USMA Class of 1975
This book is not just about a great man. It is about a great man we knew and loved. Ray was the embodiment of character, values and leadership. To read about him is to read about the best West Point has to offer. Ray inspired everyone who knew him and he lives on in the hearts of all who loved him. This book honors him.
—Tom Schwartz, General, USA (Retired), USMA Class of 1967
Richard Enners’ Heart of Gray is an inspiring tribute to his brother, Lieutenant Raymond Enners. What sets this memoir apart is how Enners connects the cadet experience at the United States Military Academy, and its inculcation of the warrior ethos, to the heroism his brother demonstrated in the crucible of combat during the Tet Offensive. This moving book conjures up the spirit of his brother, as well as so many others from The Long Gray Line who have given their lives in service to their country.
—Siobhan Fallon, Author, You Know When the Men are Gone
Success in all team sports relies on great leadership and supporting the concept of TEAM by contributing to something greater than yourself. Lt. Raymond Enners embodied these values on the playing field and in life. Heart of Gray reveals Lt. Enners’ exceptional characteristics through his heroic actions and daily life. A truly inspirational story and legacy.
—Chuck Mitrano, President, United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and Empire 8 Commissioner
The story of Raymond Enners is an inspiring illustration of how commitment and duty to others learned through athletics, family, and education captures the essence of great leadership evolving through selflessness, dedication, and humility. The life lessons learned by Raymond Enners through participation in athletics are compelling in his actions of bravery and heroism as he made the ultimate sacrifice for his team. Heart of Gray provides a true appreciation of the special person that Raymond Enners became during his lifetime.
—George Searing, President, Suffolk County Lacrosse Coaches Association
Not Just an Athlete and More Than a SoldierFellow Alumni,
There is part of my heart that will always pull for Academy sports teams to excel on the national stage. As a West Point football alumni myself, I can testify first hand to the pride your respective teams have in representing our esteemed institutions. Consequently, I find myself pulling for any team to do well and, yes, occasionally that might mean I pull for Navy. Just don’t tell anyone I said that.
But there is more to our Academy athletics than just sport for when we take off one uniform we are destined to put on another. Lt. Raymond Enners graduated West Point with the class of ’67 and like so many men of his day he quickly found himself in Vietnam. While at the Academy, Enners excelled at Lacrosse as he displayed a natural athleticism few could match. And while that earned him accolades on the field, it would serve his men well in the jungles of Vietnam.
On September 18th, 1969, Lt. Enners found himself fighting through an ambush when one of his squad leaders fell within meters of the enemy positions. Hearing the calls for help, Enners charged into action. Maneuvering with the remaining members of his squad, Enners closed distance with the wounded man when there was nothing left to do but charge the fire-swept ground. Running with his typical athletic prowess, Enners reached the wounded soldier, provided first aid, and picked him up.
As Enners made the trip back and with his men looking on at the sight of such inexplicable gallantry, a burst of North Vietnamese machine gun found their target on the young Lieutenant. Lt. Enners passed away that day in Vietnam and for his actions he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. However, for the man who was more than an athlete and more than a soldier, his legacy would live on. Every year the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association recognizes the top collegiate lacrosse player with none other than the Lt. Raymond Enners Award.
Remember as you cheer on your alma mater this weekend that the same men charging into the face of an opposing linebacker this year could quickly find themselves charging into the face of enemy fire the next. They are more than athletes and more than soldiers, they are our future brother’s in arms. Lt. Enners story has been captured in the book, Heart of Gray, written by his brother and fellow West Point Alumni Richard Enners. It’s a great read and I highly recommend you check it out below.
Always forward my fellow Alumni, always forward.
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Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.