Posted by MaryAnn Phillips at bigpeace.com
“We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
- The Declaration of Independence
234 years after the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the Continental Congress, many feel we have lost sight of the courage, determination, and sacrifices that made our republic possible.
But as Ronald Reagan once said, those people just don’t know where to look.
25 years ago today, Jacob Leicht was born in a Navy hospital in Lemoore, Calif. Known to his friends as Jake, he grew up with his adoptive parents on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country near Kerrville, spending his boyhood hiking the rugged hills and chopping trees.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, he grew into an impressive man physically. But Jake was also known for his soft heart – and for his brains, which earned him an ROTC college scholarship.
After just one semester he dropped out and enlisted in the Marine Corps. “His greatest fear was that they would tell him he would have to sit at a desk for the rest of his life,” said Jonathan, his older brother. Jake knew his destiny was on the battlefield.
In 2007 Jake deployed to Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. He was there just three weeks when his vehicle drove over two 500-pound bombs buried in the road. Although only one detonated, it was enough. The incredible force of the blast shattered the bones in one of his legs, and the truck’s radio smashed into his face. The unit’s Iraqi interpreter, the only person in the vehicle not seriously injured, dragged him to safety.