ROCKLIN, Calif. – A veteran who spent nearly three decades in the army has taken on a new role as a father and children's author.
Retired Command Sgt. Major Ray Cordell spent 28 years as an Airborne Ranger and in public affairs. He trained elite soldiers how to fight in the most dangerous of situations.
"I thought I was all done training young warriors," Cordell said. "Now, I've got my own army of one."
Training his 2-year-old son Ranger has turned out to be the hardest mission yet.
His first mission -- Operation Safe Room.
Cordell said several parents had told him their children were often afraid to sleep alone in their rooms.
"I spent my life trying to make our country safe," Cordell explained. "I should be able to figure out a way to make my son feel safe in his room."
That pushed Cordell to write Airborne Bunny. The main character, Airborne Bunny, is based on stuffed animals that deployed troops take with them to remind them of home. In the story, Airborne Bunny has been through countless missions and has a new job.
"He uses all of his experience of being with America's finest to make this little boy feel safe," Cordell said.
Cordell recently self published the book and is available online. Discovery Tree Schools in Sacramento loved the book's message and decided to buy the book for each of its seven locations.
"That the child is not scared and is standing up for themselves versus letting someone or an idea scare them," Resource Coordinator Rebecca Foster said.
Cordell's valor is on display in his office. He's forever a patriot, but being a new dad is his proudest accomplishment yet.
"It was a way to introduce my son to a world that had been my life for three decades almost," Cordell added.
Cordell said he's not done yet. It's just the first of many stories he plans to write for Ranger.
"In the military field manuals, this is one of many field manuals to help guide him through life," Cordell smiled. "I'll continue to do this."