By Marine Cpl. Jared Lingafelt
Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., March 9, 2015 – Brotherhood, loyalty and commitment aren’t just concepts to Marine Sgt. Jeremy Anderson. For him, as an athlete from Wounded Warrior Battalion – East competing in the 2015 Marine Corps Trials, those words are a way of life.
“I have always felt that it is my duty to take care of Marines,” Anderson said. “Coming up through the Marine Corps, I had leadership, but they weren’t really fully engaged. So, now that I am in the position I am in, I want to help as much as possible.”
Anderson has served in several positions throughout his career, including barracks manager, training clerk and staff judge advocate clerk. But it was the injuries he sustained while serving as a field artillery man that eventually landed him at the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
Helping Others Recover
Deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan took their toll on Anderson’s mind and body, he said, but his focus remained on helping out his fellow Marines.
“When I sit down and talk to a Marine and know that I have helped them out, even if it is just talking to them and letting them vent, they walk away feeling better and it’s a great feeling to know I was a part of that,” Anderson said. “I may have lost a little bit of sleep or it may have taken a couple hours out of my day, but I know that the Marine will be OK, and that is what it’s all about.
“I wouldn’t let anyone in my family go without something so why should it be any different for fellow Marines?” he added.
Anderson’s physical injuries make conducting daily tasks a challenge. Using a cane to aid even the simplest movements, Anderson never lets his injuries get between him and his Marines.
“I will do whatever I can to help someone out,” said Anderson. “If I just sat around all day and didn’t put myself out there, I wouldn’t be taking care of Marines. It’s our brothers and sisters in arms that matter.”
Cpl. Barney Oldfield, one of Anderson’s friends, says the sergeant’s devotion and loyalty to his brothers and sisters in arms isn’t limited to the workweek –- he’s available to lend a hand or an ear whenever a Marine needs it.
“There was one incident when I was in [a fast-food restaurant]. I was having a hard time because there were so many people,” Oldfield said. “He was there with his family, and he saw that I was having trouble and that was all it took. He came over to me, stayed with me in line and talked to me … to make sure I was OK. Just because you are another Marine, you are already a brother or sister to him.”
When he completes the Marine Corps Trials, Anderson said, he hopes to return to Camp Lejeune with more experience and knowledge to help new Marines transitioning into his battalion.
“I’m still in the process of learning how everything works there, so when someone new does come in, I can be there to help,” said Anderson. “As leaders, we have to pass on the knowledge and information that we have to our Marines because the more knowledge they have, the more successful they will be, and in turn, the more successful the Marine Corps will be.”