Jerry Wright served in the United States Military from 1999 – 2004. He started his basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois, and was then stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2000, Jerry was on the USS Cole when it was bombed in Aden, Yemen.
“It was a horrific incident, but it did get the Nation’s attention,” said Jerry. “I lost friends, which was devastating, but we eventually got the ship back to state side.”
Once the bomb hit the crew members were given three orders. First, was to help the wounded and deceased off the ship. Second, was to contain flooding and then to make sure the ship was structurally sound and moveable, and third was to make sure the weapons were safe guarded. Once the orders were fulfilled they waited for a ship called the Blue Marlin to arrive and take them home. That day forty-three were injured and seventeen were deceased.
Jerry was then awarded for “Serving Well” and sent to study photography at Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Maryland. Once he completed his schooling he officially became a United States Navy Photographer. He was then stationed at Fleet Imaging Command Pacific in Lemoore Naval Air Base, California and specialized in aerial photography. He also handled surveillance where he viewed and processed imagery for counter intelligence.
In 2002, Jerry photographed a plane going down and made another move for the Navy to North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado Island in San Diego, California. He spent two years there working with different departments and photographing activities in other commands. He even photographed President Bush on an aircraft carrier during his time there.
“I have had the privilege to meet two United States Presidents in my life time,” exclaimed Jerry. “I shook President Bush, Jr. and President Clinton’s Hands and was also in the room with President Obama.”
“I also did a tour in Afghanistan for nine months,” said Jerry. “It was an honor to serve with both the men and women, but it has also been tough because I have lost good friends in combat.”
When asked about his service Jerry said, “Veteran’s Day is about the job that we have done to defend our nation; and to protect and serve the citizens of this great nation, as well as uphold the constitution of the United States of America.”
After serving our country, Jerry received his degree at in criminal justice while working at the University of California. He then moved back to Maryland to be near family and worked for Rosenthal Acura before joining the Shockley Honda Team. He and his wife Brenda have two children Andres, three years old and Sebastian, who is one. He likes to work out in his spare-time and spend quality time with his family.
Veteran’s day will be observed this Monday. This is a time where we honor our U.S. military veterans, and thank them for protecting our country and allowing us the freedoms that we have in the United States of America. During this time, we would like to recognize one of our own, Shockley Honda’s Sales Representative, Bill Collings. He served our country in the Army for four years from 1967-1971. Bill enlisted in 1967 and attended basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
“This is where I posted record in the low crawl,” said Bill jokingly. “Really this is true.”
After basic training, Bill was stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington where he attended Advance – Infantry training, and then went on to Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia. After his time at Fort Benning, he attended three weeks at jungle school in Panama. Bill then went to fight for our country in the Vietnam War as a platoon leader for the 82nd air born infantry. In Vietnam, Bill was honored with the Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Star. A year later, he went back to Fort Benning, as an instructor and then in 1971, two weeks after his son was born, he finished his time in the Army with the rank of Captain.
“I am very proud to have served my country,” Bill stated. “After the Army, I went back to school and got my degree at UMass, and moved to Maryland as the branch manager of a bank and coached a bunch of kid’s sports.”
After two years of convincing, one of the fathers from the little league team got Bill into the car business. He started off at Kline Ford and has been selling cars for 30 years. In Bill’s spare time he likes to play golf and also pitches and coaches on the All Saints Episcopal Church softball team. His son, who works for cars.com, just got married and Bill recently attended his wedding in Chicago, IL. The thing that Bill enjoys most is eating crabs and drinking beer. How is that for a true Marylander!
Bill, we at Shockley Honda would like to honor you this Veteran’s Day. Thank you Bill and thank you to all of the veterans who have served for our country!
Marty Harlow – Service Manager -Shockley Honda – 27 Years of Service
Al Shockley – Owner – Shockley Honda – Marine Corps 1953-1956