Frank Wright, a native of Lodi, traveled through time when he went back to southern California to see where his military career began.
Wright, now 97 years old, joined the US Marine Corps in 1942 when he was 16 years old and successfully finished basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. He participated in combat throughout the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, including at Iwo Jima, where he saw the American flag being raised on Mount Suribachi, which is now immortalized in Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph, which has come to symbolize success for the American armed forces. Wright, a founding member of the Marine Corps Raiders special operations squad, was called back to the depot on October 13 to mark his service. During a news conference on October 17, Wright remarked, “My thoughts went back to January in 1942, seeing some of the sites I had been.” Wright was speaking about his trip to San Diego. Special operations group Marine Raiders was established in 1942 to engage in amphibious light infantry combat. However, the Raiders were mostly utilized as standard infantry during combat operations.