San Diego --
Becoming a United States Marine is an accomplishment that stays with one their entire life. The legacy it creates within one’s family lasts generations. The challenges one must overcome to earn the title and create the legacy is a difficult path few choose to take.
Pvt. Jacob R. Wright, Platoon 3255, Company L, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion decided to take on this challenge to earn honor, respect, and family pride.
Growing up in Cape Girardeau, Miss., Wright endured a great hardship that would affect his life. At the age of six, Wright’s father died from a disease he caught while hunting one weekend. At the time, the impact on Wright was immense, however, it wasn’t until he got older that he realized how truly affected he was. Even though his mom re-married when he was ten, it still wasn’t the same.
“I didn’t have a male figure in my life until my step-dad came along,” said Wright. “It didn’t exactly fill that gap I had because at the time he was this new person in my life. A step-dad and dad are two different things, don’t get me wrong, I like my step-dad, but it’s just not the same.”
As Wright got older, he saw himself taking over the ‘man of the house’ roll with his brothers even though his step-dad was there. Being the oldest of both his brother and step-brother, Wright had become their role model.
“I love my family dearly and was always trying to help out,” said Wright. “My brothers look up to me because I’m older and I’ve already done things they are about to do.”
During high school, Wright enjoyed participating in any sport that was played outside. He considered himself to be a big outdoors person. Toward the end of high school Wright saw himself going to college to pursue the same career as his step-dad, computer analyst. In the back of his mind though, Wright had a desire to join the military just like many of his relatives before him had done.
“In high school, I had a feeling that I wanted to go into the military but I wanted to give college a try first and see if it was for me,” said Wright.
With his decision made, Wright was now on the search for the right service to join.
“I wanted to join one that gave out the most respect, had the highest respect and was the hardest,” said Wright. “I checked out all the military branches but since I had family members already in most I wanted to take a new path, make my own legacy, so I joined the Marine Corps.”
At the age of 18, Wright made one of the biggest and proudest decisions of his life, to enlist in the Marine Corps. Since he was of age, Wright was able to sign the paperwork to enter the delayed entry program without his parent’s consent. The next challenge in his life was to break the news to them.
“The first time I told my mom she said “no way”,” said Wright. “At the same time she was proud because she knew I was building a strong future, that instead of just dropping out of college and lay around the house, I was proactive with moving forward with my life.”
Arriving at recruit training at the age of 19, Wright had a new set of challenges to overcome.
“It was definitely tough at first, even though I acted like a leader, I wasn’t very disciplined when I first got here,” said Wright. “Towards the end, you start to realize that even though drill instructors are in your face screaming at you, they’re actually looking out for you and trying to do what’s best for you.”
Wright’s drill instructor had the same observation of him while going through the phases of recruit training.
“He struggled a lot when he first came to recruit training. He was always the last one to finish a task,” said Sgt. Miguel A. Gonzalez, drill instructor. “After a while, he came around, he found that desire inside of him and started doing things that I never saw him do in first phase. He presses his uniform every night and he tries to make his cover look sharp like ours.
Wright went through great difficulty growing up losing his father. He tried to go down a path in his life that didn’t end up working out. He also struggled at first to be a great recruit while in recruit training. However, at the end of all of these obstacles Wright found a way to come out on top. Wright worked hard to become the role model he is today, which has left an impression on those around him.
“Although Wright had difficulty at first in boot camp, I can definitely see him going out into the Marine Corps and being a great leader,” said Gonzalez. “If I were to deploy with him I would be proud to do it.”