on Memorial Day.
Day. Memorial Day is a day of
remembering the men and women who died while serving.
when an organization of Union Veterans established it as a time for the nation
to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. From 1775 to present
America has lost over 664,440 men and women in combat. When you add these Americans to lives lost
due to complications from wounds, diseases and illnesses of war at a later
date, America has lost 1,354,664 Men and Women.
fought in and the price to earn and preserve our freedom..
silence to reflect and remember the soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guardsmen
and marines that have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live a life of
towers fall in my 2nd period Criminal Justice class. It impacted me
and I was compelled to do something about it. So I went home that day and told
my mom I was joining the military.
decision but asked I go to college first. Then she followed up and said, “After
College you can do whatever you want”.
listened to my mom and went to college.
of Alabama when I realized that I was not happy and something was missing in my
life with a business degree it became obvious to me that I had reached an
interesting place in my life. I found
myself in a situation that I didn’t want to be in. I was not excited to start a career in a
cubicle crunching numbers or selling widgets.
Like most young men and women I reached this point in my life because I
was doing what was expected of me by my parents influence.
experience when I finally realized I was not living my own life. Immediately I took action and started to plan
my next move. I didn’t seek advice from anyone
because I wanted take charge of my own destiny.
would be a great fit so I went about this thought quietly. I was very intrigued and inspired by Pat
Tillman’s story and coincidently I knew of a guy attending Alabama who was also
an Army Ranger. As I continued to think
about joining the military I reached out to him with questions. I quickly noticed there was something about him
that I envied. It was the way he stood
and his self-confidence.
test I woke up early to get coffee on my way to the test. The coffee shop was called Bad Ass
Coffee. As I waited for my order I
watched the news and saw a quick shot of some action in Iraq with bombs and gun
fire going on in an Iraq city I’d never heard of. As I thought to myself about the military a
feeling came over me that moved me. I
realized I hadn’t done anything for my country and that it was time to do what
I thought was not only cool but honorable.
With this feeling of freedom I decided right then and there that I was
joining the military. I left the coffee
shop and went to class and took my test.
With the war in Iraq still on my mind I drove to the Army recruiting
station and walked in and asked the recruiter for the hardest thing he’s got. He said, “I have an Army Ranger contract or
an SF contract”. I said, “What’s the
difference”? He said, “If you want to be
hardcore and kill bad guys be an Army Ranger”.
and it felt as though a thousand pounds had been lifted off of my
shoulders. I was finally doing what I
wanted to do and it felt great. Before going home I stopped at a bookstore and
bought a book called “To be an Army Ranger”.
in my back pack and ran to class. My
lifestyle changed dramatically. My
friends no longer found me in the bars. Instead
I was either running to class or at the gym doing pushups, pull ups and sit
ups. When I ran into friends they asked
why I would do such a thing; especially right before I graduate. Some were saying don’t do it and others were
not surprised. There comments were just
noise to me. I didn’t care what anyone had to say. I had a goal and it was to become an Army
to basic training and never looked back.
I was full of piss and vinegar and chomping at the bits to get over to
Iraq. In just 2 months after arriving at
the 1st Ranger Battalion I finally got my wish and deployed to
Iraq. After three successful deployments
to Iraq I deployed to Afghanistan as a team leader and was opened up to an
entirely different style of fighting.
Instead of carrying the usual 4 mags and a grenade on a mission like in
Iraq I found myself carrying 7-9 mags of ammo and multiple types of
the summer of 2010 to Jalalabad Afghanistan for my second Afghanistan
deployment. It was Taliban hunting
season and we were getting after it almost every night. By this time I had over 300 direct action
raid missions under my belt and was the senior team leader in the platoon when
intelligence located a high valued target in the Pech Valley of the Kunar
Nuristan fighters, a sub network of the Taliban. The HVT was known for being an
expert with IED’s, rocket propelled grenades and small arms attacks and always
traveled with a PSD team of 2-3 armed men.
He was directly linked to events responsible for killing and wounding
American soldiers and needed to be captured or killed so that a company of
soldier’s in the 101st Airborne operating out of the Pech Valley
would be able to maintain operations in the Kunar Province.
the night of August the 18th and 19th. The mission to capture or kill this specific
HVT was a GO. As cloud cover rolled in
we lost our ISR platform and no longer had protection from above. We still had each other but lost a critical
element that aided in our own protection.
As my squad climbed onto a second story roof top preparing to make entry
through a door an all-out gun fight erupted from directly above us on the 3rd
story rooftop. Grenades and small arms fire were pouring down on us.
wounded. As the shrapnel from the
grenades and AK-47 rounds were flying everywhere I could here Chris screaming
I’m hit, I’m hit.
be eliminated, collectively as a squad we regained fire superiority and killed the
HVT and his two man PSD element and pulled Chris to a safer place to treat his
replay this moment over and over in my head everyday thinking about what I
could have done better to protect Chris and Ethan.
cloth as the warriors that scouted with Washington, fought shoulder to shoulder
with Jackson, braved the redoubt with Grant, charged the beach at Normandy and
climbed the cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc.
glory he fought for his brothers to his left and right. Even as Chris laid dying on the battlefield
in overwhelming pain he never felt sorry for himself. It still amazes me to this day how mentally
tough Chris Wright was and the only thing I can think of is that he spent his
last moments in strength, confidence and honor because he was with his brothers
to the end and he knew he had never let anyone down.
others wouldn’t dare volunteer for so that Americans may live a life in peace. Before joining the Army Chris’s mom asked him,
“Why do you want to join the Army?” Chris said, “So that I can keep my brothers
Christopher Wright’s life and the other 1,354,663 lives lost since 1775 is the
cost of our Country’s freedom today.
forget our fallen comrades. They and the
ideas for which they fought will remain ever-present among us. For we fully understand the extent of their
heroic sacrifices, we will carry their spirit with us into all walks of
life. Into all corners of America our
hearts join together in sorrow for their loss but also our hearts swell with
pride to have fought alongside such valiant men. They will never be considered dead for they
live with us in spirit.”
lost during my time as a Ranger I have been driven to a greater cause and in
memory of my brothers as a tribute to honor these men I have dedicated my life
to a greater good on behalf of other Rangers to help facilitate a successful
transition for Army Ranger veterans from active military service to a civilian
life filled with hope and purpose.