Twelve year veteran Jason Wright and has wife Amy, of Allegan County, Michigan, found the shock of a lifetime recently when they discovered two crumpled up bubble mailers lying on the floor after being stuffed through their front door mailbox. Inside the crudely presented manila envelopes were ten military service awards, including TWO purple hearts which Jason had earned during his time spent in Iraq. After four years of waiting on them to arrive, the twice wounded warrior was devastated:
“I was in shock,” Wright said about the way he finally got his medals. “I was disrespected. It felt like a spit in the face.”
His wife Amy was no less shocked – perhaps even moreso:
“Just receiving them in the mail, like it was a newspaper?” said Amy. “And we had to pick them up off the floor! I felt really bad for him. They should be awarding those medals as soon as they can get them to them. Four years is way too long.”
His combat unit did have a ceremony to honor the sacrifices during that grueling tour and Purple Hearts were awarded to those who were wounded, but not to Wright: ”My name was one that didn’t get called,” said Wright.
An honor his wife said Wright earned.
“They mean sacrifice,” Amy said of the Purple Heart medals. “They mean my husband gave his well-being to his country.”
Wright joined the Marines at 17. “I signed up in the a.m., in the p.m. I was in San Diego Boot Camp,” he recalled. Devoting 12 years of his life to the U.S. military – Wright shifted gears during his Marine corp recon duty and in 2003 enlisted in the Army. Shortly afterwards he married and was quickly deployed to Iraq.
Within 3 weeks of arriving Wright’s armored vehicle hit an IED which severely injured him. His second encounter with near death on behalf of America found him facing a suicide fuel truck which bashed into his barrack’s while he slept, sending him head fist into a concrete wall. The injuries he sustained from both events have left the warrior with various pins and plates, arthritis in his back, a traumatic brain injury, and post traumatic stress disorder.
Jeremy Binder, a war veteran himself and an advocate for veterans in Allegan County, is fighting alongside Wright for the honor the hero deserves but says that Wright’s problem is a common one that many service members are facing:
“When he was a Marine, they dropped the ball,” said Binder. “He should have had an award ceremony. Unfortunately he’s not the only one, it happens to a lot them [vets]. They’ve already fought a war. They shouldn’t have to fight another war when they come home.”
The Wrights are currently working with Congressman Fred Upton’s office about a possible awards ceremony. Upton’s office says the 6th District Republican is now seeking to have a proper medals ceremony for Wright after learning of the situation.