Jack Wright, Jr. Respiratory Therapist Assistant, US Army 2007-2015
It’s a high school teacher who gets honorable mention for consistently inspiring Jack Wright, Jr., to enlist in the United States Army, he recently said. The Florida high school teacher was in the Army and is now called a fellow veteran of Jack’s whom he still keeps in touch with. The drive to join the military ebbed and flowed throughout Jack’s adolescent years and finally when construction work fizzled out after high school, he found an Army recruiting office near his hometown of Zephyrhills, Florida, and enlisted.
Basic training took him to Missouri, and then Airborne School at Fort Benning.
“My first time ever in a plane was to basic training,” Jack said. “My second time in an airplane was to jump out of it at Airborne School.”
Jack was assigned to the 988th military police company and deployed to Iraq for 15 months, within the first few months of being in the Army. During his time in Iraq, he would train the Iraqi Army and police during the day and at night his unit would look for explosives – basically dodge rockets and mortars all night, he said.
“We built strong bonds,” he said about his fellow soldiers. “We lived in tents in the middle of the desert with air conditioning, when it ran.”
The way Jack describes much of his service time, he rolled out into the field with medics and learned a lot from them on top of the basic life saving techniques the Army makes standard. He said he caught a passion bug for the medical field. And, that’s how he ended up as Respiratory Therapist Assistant at Family Health West.
Well, the path to Western Colorado involved following a girl he says with a smile. There has to be a romantic story there, but today’s interview wasn’t about that. (Maybe Valentine’s Day!) With Veteran’s Day on the horizon, Jack said he will be reaching out to Mr. Armstrong and several other veteran buddies. It’s a good day to reflect on our service and check in with each other, he said. There might be many miles between them all, but the connection and care for each other remains. Including Jack’s older brother who has made the Army a career and is currently stationed in Alaska, and a younger brother who joined the Army two years after Jack signed up.
On behalf of all you FHW teammates, thank you for your military service, Jack.