Marine Gary Wright died as a result of injuries sustained when a suicide-borne improvised explosive device detonated next to the vehicle in which he was patrolling in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 19 October 2006.
Gary Wright, from Glasgow, was born on 30 September 1984. He joined the Royal Marines on 21 October 2002, and after completing his basic training at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, he passed out in July 2003 as a member of 843 Troop.
He was an enthusiastic and physically fit Marine who possessed a cheerful and optimistic outlook on life. After training he joined 2 Troop, Whiskey Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines in Arbroath and deployed almost immediately for an operational tour of Northern Ireland where he excelled as a ‘Snatch’ Land Rover driver. During this period his determined and ambitious nature led him to undertake the Recce Troop Selection Course, which he passed with flying colours. He attended the physically and mentally demanding Recce Leaders’ Course in June 2004. This led to a two-year period with Recce Troop where he attended training exercises in the jungles of Ghana, the deserts and mountains of California and the savannahs of Senegal.
In 2004 he also attended the Joint Services Parachute Course at Brize Norton and proudly wore his parachutists’ wings on his uniform. He spent the first three months of this year in Norway where he and the Troop honed their skills in long range recce in a cold weather environment, including ice climbing on frozen waterfalls and the use of skidoos, before beginning pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK 5.
Marine Wright was extremely proud of his Scottish roots and ensured that wherever he was in the world he received a copy of the Daily Record. He was a keen football fan and a passionate supporter of his club Rangers. As a boy he had played in their youth teams and he made every effort to catch as many matches as he could at Ibrox.
He loved cars and motorbikes and had a beautiful red MG Midget. He was going to take his motorbike test and was already deciding which bike he was going to buy.
Gary was a popular and hard-working member of Recce Troop where his positive attitude and soldiering ability set a fine example to those around him. He was a consistently high performer who found he had a natural affinity to the harsh conditions encountered on demanding exercises and operations in a variety of environments.
Above all Marine Wright was a friend to all, a great character and was full of life. He was an extremely popular member of 45 Commando and he will be sorely missed by all who were privileged to serve alongside him.
Marine Wright’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar RM, said of him:
Marine Wright was an outstanding young Royal Marine whose determination and professional ability led to his selection as a member of our highly specialised Recce Troop. Extremely popular with a good sense of humour, he was very highly thought of by everyone who worked with him.
“He was an excellent Marine who died doing the job he loved and will be missed by all his friends in 45 Commando. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this difficult time.”
On being informed of the news, Defence Secretary Des Browne said:
I was greatly saddened to hear about the death of Marine Wright, the first member of 3 Commando Brigade to lose his life on this important mission in Afghanistan. My thoughts are very much with his family, friends and colleagues. I know that his loss will be felt deeply by all those who knew him but I have no doubt this will only strengthen the resolve of his fellow marines to carry on with the task in hand.
During this trying time the family have requested that the media respect their privacy and allow them time to grieve in private.