Jay P. Clark is the owner and CEO of Clark’s Crystal Springs Ranch, LLC, in Mountain Home, Idaho. Recently, the staff of Community Blog Online spoke with Jay P. Clark about the challenges and rewards of family life.
Community Blog Online: Thanks for taking some time to speak with us today…
Jay P. Clark: Absolutely, I’m always happy to sit down and share.
Community Blog Online: Your son just graduated from Marine boot camp, is that correct?
Jay P. Clark: Yes, I’m very proud to say he did!
Community Blog Online: What led up to your son enlisting in the Marines?
Jay P. Clark: Well, he came to live with me in the 8th grade; he was living with his mom and stepdad prior to that, but dealing with some anger and other behavioral issues.
Community Blog Online: The early teen years are difficult for a lot of kids.
Jay P. Clark: Yes, all we have to do is think back to when we were that age!
Community Blog Online: How did the next several years go?
Jay P. Clark: Well, he was struggling…doing poorly in the classes he didn’t like, but doing really well in the ones he loved. I think that it was just a lack of focus and discipline that was showing through.
Community Blog Online: Did he go on to college?
Jay P. Clark: Yes, he did, but he still lacked direction. He went one semester to Northwest Nazarene University, which is where I graduated and my parents and grandparents graduated. When he got home, we both knew that things had to change, in a lot of different ways.
Community Blog Online: What course did things take from there?
Jay P. Clark: Well, I set some hard boundaries, trying to compel him to come to grips with some things. He saw that he had to make some decisions, and eventually started working out four hours a day. He went to live with his mom and her current boyfriend, a retired Marine.
Community Blog Online: And that must have served as an inspiration?
Jay P. Clark: Yes, absolutely. He went from 250 lbs. down to 170 lbs in the course of about six months, and decided to join the Marines.
Community Blog Online: Have you seen him lately?
Jay P. Clark: Yes, I went to visit him; toward the end of my visit, his recruiter/trainer asked him if he was ready to work as hard as I did, which I took as a great reflection on my role in my son’s life.
Community Blog Online: What happens next, then?
Jay P. Clark: Unlike other branches of the military, all Marines have to be combat ready so he will train for some time at Camp Pendleton near San Diego. After that, because his score on a communication’s test was so high, he qualifies as a radio operator, so he will train for three months at “Twenty nine Palms” near Palm Springs for that. After that he will hopefully continue with much more intensive education including language immersion schools to further take advantage of his God given abilities. He is excited to be a career Marine and hopes to become an officer as soon as he possibly can.