Many say that everything is bigger in Texas, to include dreams. One Texan baseball player’s biggest dream, to become a U.S. Marine, has become a reality.
Pvt. Ben W. Reed, Platoon 2128, Company F, grew up in Graham, Texas, a considerably large town that was known for its baseball.
No one in Reed’s family played baseball, but he shined at the sport among his peers in school, he said. He discovered his abilities like most kids, by just trying them out.
“My friends and I would always play baseball,” Reed said. “It just seemed like a natural habit.”
Reed had an early start with his baseball career, beginning with Tee Ball when he was 6 years old.
When he attended Kilgore High School, Reed played for the district champions, the Kilgore Bulldogs. He was awarded 1st Team All District, and was nominated to play on the North Texas High School Baseball Coaches’ Association All Star Team.
“Being such a valuable baseball player paid off for me in my junior year of high school,” he said.
Reed was offered a full ride scholarship to the Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, and the University of Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, to play shortstop, he said.
“I turned down the scholarship because I’d rather be a Marine,” said Reed.
Many people were affected by the attack on the World Trade Center, and so was Reed.
“I found a higher calling in defending my nation,” said Reed. “I found a way to do just that, and get a challenge while doing it by becoming a Marine.”
Reed had lost his aunt and uncle in the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers, and wanted to honor their memory by defending his country against terrorism, he said.
“I feel like I’d somehow be doing them justice, to show that I did something for their pain,” he said.
As well as honoring his family, Reed wanted to become a Marine for the training and educational opportunities, he said.
Reed said he feels that joining the Marine Corps is the best route he could have taken because of everything the Marine Corps has to offer.
“Even though I had set my mind on a new goal, I still have my passion to attend college during my Marine Corps career,” said Reed.
Reed said he wants to go to college to become a diesel mechanic, and chose a military occupational specialty of vehicle repair.
Reed said he feels that the Marine Corps would help him study more diligently and give him the discipline required to graduate from college.
“He will have anything and everything to offer the Marine Corps,” said Sgt. Nicholas Robinson, senior drill instructor, Platoon 2128, Company F. “I know he will be able to provide knowledge to those seeking a sports opportunity in the Marine Corps, and furthering himself and his fellow Marines to get educated and get their degrees.”
Reed’s career in the Marines is what he makes of it, whether it is with sports, education or training, Robinson said
“I think he will be successful and guide those around him,” he said.