Young Marine trusts Christ as he recovers from wounds
JEFFERSON CITY – He was just a boy, only 19 years old.
Jacob Gormley had been out of high school for a year and had no clue what he was going to do, like many young men who have just graduated from high school. But this young man had a family history that went back three, if not more, generations that would determine the steps that would make him a man—not just any man, but a godly man seeking God’s will and His glory.
“Being a teenager and a preacher’s kid, Jacob took a lot of things we tried to teach him for granted,” said his father, Pastor Art Gormley. “Then he went into the Marines and realized how much knowing Christ meant to him.”
Although he came from a military background—his grandfather was a World War II veteran, his father was in the military, his brother, Joel, was in the Navy, and his brother, Joshua, was in the Coast Guard—his father said, “I was concerned about him joining the Marines because I knew he would be serving in Iraq.”
Jacob’s response was typical for a 19-year-old boy who thinks he can conquer the world. He said, “Well, someone has to do it. Why not me?”
Knowing the Lord would take care of him, Art and his mother, Claudette, gave Jacob their blessing and let him go.
He began his Marine Corps training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. Even as a new private, his ranking officers noticed a difference in him as he worked with endurance and integrity. It wasn’t long before this recruit would gain a new rank as lance corporal.
“The unit he was in charge of saw something different about him also and they respected him,” his father said.
Now 22, the “boy” who didn’t know what he would do with his life took his first tour of duty in March of 2004. This was hard for his family but God gave them strength. The church Art pastors, Linn Creek Baptist, has been a special source of support for the family as they have poured out their love and prayers. Another strong prayer support is Stoutland Baptist Church where Jacob’s 83-year-old grandfather, Arthur, pastors.
In July, Jacob married his high school sweetheart, Karey Martin, of California. Although they both knew that Jacob would soon be returning to Iraq, they decided to go ahead with the ceremony. Shortly after Jacob returned to Iraq in September, his family called to tell him he was going to be a father. “He was very excited,” Art Gormley said. “Jacob said it would help him make it through the seven-month tour to know that he would come home to his wife and baby that will be born shortly after his return.”
Then came the news that no family wants to receive. Gormley was the vehicle commander of his seven-man squad when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED). The driver and gunner were killed. Gormley took shrapnel to the right leg, back and chest and was thrown about eight feet away from the vehicle. The other four men were injured as well.
The family was told by military officials that their son was in stable condition, with internal bleeding and a concussion. His recovery is ongoing.
“Claudette and I thank everyone for their prayers during this difficult time in our lives,” Art Gormley said. “We are praying that Jacob will be sent to the
U.S. for further treatment soon.”
Jacob Gormley told his father that his faith gets him through the battles he faces each day. He thinks about how he shared Christ with two of his buddies in his squad before the attack happened. These were the two men who were killed.
“We are trusting God honored Jacob’s testimony to these two young men,” Art Gormley said.
During training at Camp Pendleton, Jacob Gormley wrote his parents and said, “Our God is truly awesome and I realize that now.”