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thedrifter
06-19-04, 07:33 AM
A NEW ROUTINE - Wisconsin businessman finds capital gain in Corps
Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification #: 2004617152153
Story by Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr.



MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.(June 18, 2004) -- Taps echoes across the Depot and recruits lie in their racks after a long day of training.

Quietly lying in his rack, PFC Jeremy J. Rugg, Platoon 3073, Company I, finds his mind flooded with images of his three-year-old daughter, Alaina E. Rugg.

"I miss my daughter and family," said Rugg. "My mom writes to tell me how my daughter is doing. She asks when daddy is coming home."

Rugg's daughter is only one indication of the life he left to become a Marine.

During high school and college Rugg excelled in sports.

He lived in Racine, Wis., for most of his life and started his degree program at Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis. He eventually transferred and graduated from Lakeland College, Sheboygan, Wis., with a bachelor of arts in business and marketing in 2002.

After college, Rugg was armed for success, and he started working with a local logistics company where he routed materials as a supplier compliance technician.

Although he found success as a businessman, he felt held down by his mundane life.

"One day I was sitting around at home, bored with life and the same old routine," said Rugg. "I had friends in the Marine Corps and they had talked to me about joining so I went to talk to a recruiter."

According to Rugg, there was no question in his mind that the Marine Corps was the service for him because just being a Marine and the competitiveness involved is in his nature.

"The name Marine says it all to me," Rugg said. "It says "warrior," and better than the rest."

Rugg said his inspiration to become better than his peers is a direct result of his grandfather's life and death.

"There was a big change in me after my grandfather passed away four years ago," he said. "I took a lot of time off from sports ... Ever since then, I worked harder and achieved more than ever before."

According to Rugg, his grandfather, Jim H. Eickhorst, spent countless days and nights teaching him the basics of sports.

"As I was growing up, he taught me fundamentals," said Rugg. "Countless late nights, we would spend hours out there working on a jump shot. He taught me all the little things to achieve bigger things in life and sports. He pushed me a lot. I believe it is because of him I am competitive."

Rugg said his grandfather believed that to be somebody, one has to separate himself from others and show what makes him better.

"He was the biggest influence in my life," said Rugg. "When he died, it made me come out of my box and better myself."

In that spirit, Rugg trained hard to condition and prepare his body for recruit training.

"I went to the gym everyday before coming (here), to get in my best shape," said Rugg.

According to Rugg, most of his family thought he was crazy for joining the Marine Corps. They would rather have seen him succeed in business and do something with his degree.

"My father was a big inspiration in my life," he said. "He taught me the values I brought here to recruit training. He's the only one who accepted my decision to join the Marine Corps. He told me to do my best and listen to everything everyone has to say."

Rugg took his father's words to heart because of the close bond they share.

"He probably knows what's going through my mind more than anyone else in my family," Rugg said. "We are both strong minded."

His strong mind may be an advantage in his overall goal of becoming a Marine Corps officer.

"I plan on becoming an officer after being enlisted," said Rugg. "When I become an officer I will be able to relate to enlisted Marines because I will know what they went through. I didn't want to cheat myself."

Rugg has already shown his ability to lead. He served as a squad leader for his platoon during recruit training.

"My goals when I came here were to become stronger mentally and physically," said Rugg. "I want to help others get better. I helped those who came to me with their pull-ups. I try to motivate recruits through hard work and then I feed off their motivation."

According to some of his fellow recruits, Rugg's leadership was a valuable asset for the platoon.

"He's a good motivator and he helps morale," said Pvt. Jason L. Kyles, who Rugg helped increase his pull-ups by seven. "I asked him questions about what to eat. He is always willing to lend a hand to recruits who ask."

According to Kyles, Rugg was a good friend to have in recruit training.

While Rugg has made some friends here, the hardest part is the separation from Alaina.

"Being away from my daughter was the hardest part of training for me," he said. "I've never been away so long. I have to block it out and train my mind to concentrate on becoming a Marine and do everything to the best of my ability."

Rugg graduates today as a private first class and will finally get to be with his daughter again.

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2004617152313/$file/recruit_lr.jpg

PFC Jeremy J. Rugg, Platoon 3073, Company I, renders a rifle salute during Co. I's final drill competition. Rugg left his life as a businessman in Wisconsin to serve his country as a Marine. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr.

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/main5/DBD87D6206231E9785256EB6006A6007?opendocument

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