Wounded Leatherneck touches down in Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wounded Leatherneck touches down in Georgia

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By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  An MCLB Marine, wounded in combat, is back in the United States. Lance Corporal Rueben Wright suffered a brain injury as well as injuries to his neck, shoulder, and back when his unit was ambushed during a patrol in Afghanistan.

The injuries forced him to stay overseas while the rest of his unit returned home in November.

Lance Corporal Wright was extremely excited to catch up with his fellow Marines and friends and family. But there was one person in particular he was looking forward to seeing. He missed a very important event,the birth of his first child.      

Lance Corporal Reuben Wright couldn't find the words to describe his joy over being home.   "I can't explain it. After being over there being away for a long time. Once you get back, it's just like, you can't explain it," Said Wright.  

While deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, Wright was wounded in action.   "We were in one of the smaller cities, just supposed to be a normal patrol, started taking some fire, IED blast went off, Marines got banged up."  

Even while lying injured on foreign ground, Wright thought of others.   "The first thing you do think about is how are the other Marines doing? That's the first question."  

But Tuesday, everyone was thinking of him. Wright received a hero's welcome when members of his unit, who have been back in the United States for months, greeted him at the airport.

And his family has even bigger plans.   "His aunts, his friends, his high school friends, his teachers. We're going to do a big family gathering. He has no idea," said his Mother, Phyllis Smith.  

Reuben wasn't the only person to struggling to express feelings on his homecoming.   "I really don't know, I really don't know what to say," Smith said. "I am amazed, I am overwhelmed. I am just, I just thank God. I just prayed every day. Not only did I pray for Rueben, but I prayed for every troop over there. And I am glad to see him back home."  

And so is his girlfriend and six-week old son, Jadon.   "I am extremely happy," said Wright's Girlfriend Janeika Sweet. "It was hard and painful, and stressful."  

We watched as Wright held his son for the first time.   "I don't know what to say. This is, this is.. can't explain it. Your daddy's home!" said Wright.   Home and out of harm's way, with a son he can't wait to get to know.

Now that Wright is home, his girlfriend Janeika plans to put him to work changing those dirty diapers. But Wright told me he doesn't mind, and is just happy to be home and with his family.  

Lance Corporal Wright says he will undergo physical therapy for his injuries. He expects to make a near complete recovery.


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