Marine Returns From War With Purple Heart Medal
(April 4, 2010)
Lance Cpl. Ruben Wright, supply warehouseman, Det. 2, Supply Company, 4th Supply Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve, smiles as he returned to Albany March 2,
2010. Wright earned the Purple Heart Medal after receiving injuries from an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in December.
||MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga.
(4/1/2010 - MCN) — On Christmas Day 2009, Lance
Cpl. Ruben Wright awoke in a hospital bed in
His left shoulder was badly damaged; his right
shoulder was injured but to a lesser extent. He
sustained injuries to his upper, middle and
lower back and his brain was gradually swelling
from the concussive blast of an improvised
As he gained consciousness, he wasn't sure where
he was or what had happened. He was stunned and
far removed from his last memory of one loud
‘boom'. He woke up with his body connected to
monitors and intravenous drips. It was Christmas
Day, and he was away from his Marine brothers
out on patrol.
Wright had never been injured in his life. As an
up and coming wrestler with a scholarship to
Darton College in Albany, Ga., he had a vision
for himself. Go to college, earned by his
wrestling ability, earn good grades, graduate
with a business degree and provide a good life
for his family. His ultimate goal was, and is
still, to be a Marine officer and own his own
His scholarship to Darton College put him in
near proximity to Detachment 2, Supply Company.,
4th Supply Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics
Group, Marine Forces Reserve, where he had
signed up as a reserve supply warehouseman, and
fairly close to his home in Palatka, Fla.
Forward through months of training in Virginia, North Carolina and California
for deployment preparation, Wright headed to his first war-time duties in Iraq.|
Life was harsh, but not as bad compared to others. He worked the overnight shift
in a warehouse. He was part of a team that moved equipment from Al Asad Air Base
to Al Taqaddum. The equipment was filtered out of Iraq and headed stateside or
to help his brothers in Afghanistan.
A few months later he was like the equipment he processed, and he himself
followed the equipment to Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan life changed from the larger and more secure bases in Iraq. He
was now with an infantry unit and expected to be more than a warehouseman. He
would have to guard the base and go out on patrol with his unit.
After serving with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, Combat Team 3, he joined
up with 3/10 after 3/11 rotated out of country.
Working out of a small warehouse, he was often called upon to patrol the
outlying area of the base and guarded its perimeters.
On December 22, 2009, his base began receiving sporadic small arms fire from
outside the gates. One day later a patrol was formed to quell the barrage of
“The day before we were taking fire. We were rallying up to patrol and evaluate
the problem. As we rallied, we started taking fire again,” Wright said.
According to Wright, he had to move across an expansive field, which exposed him
and members of his unit to Taliban gunfire. As he moved across the field he
observed an animal set off an improvised explosive device on the other end of
Along the field were a series of ditches. His only choice was to seek cover in
one of the ditches as he moved.
“One of the ditches looked too suspicious, so we chose the middle ditch,” he
said. “As we moved forward another Marine and I were pinned down by enemy fire.
The sergeant major moved over to us and told us to move forward.”
As Wright moved forward and advanced on the enemy he was situated in front of
his sergeant major.
“What I remember is hearing a boom then waking up in the hospital. I was within
five meters of him. He was behind me.”
The sergeant major lost both legs in the IED blast and is still undergoing
physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Wright on the other hand has recovered well despite his numerous injuries.
He suffered from a traumatic brain injury, injured both shoulders and sustained
injuries to his back. Injuries that was so severe that he was sent to Landstuhl
Regional Medical Center, Germany, for physical therapy and further testing.
Despite his injuries he still maintains a smile on his face and Esprit de Corps
in his heart.
His plans have changed since his injuries. His wrestling scholarship is on hold
until he can fully recover from the IED blast, and he is focused on raising his
daughter and getting married in the near future.
Family is his priority now, but he maintains that it is still his wish to remain
a Marine and is not afraid of any future deployments.
“As a Marine you have to expect the unexpected. And you have to always be
prepared and ready,” he said.
Article and photo by Jason M. Webb
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany
Marine Corps News
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