From wrestling to Marines, local makes the transition

By Megan Wehring
DRIPPING SPRINGS — Strong relationships with his community and his time wrestling for the high school made Cody Barron a perfect recruit.
Barron, a 2021 graduate of Dripping Springs High School, was on the DSHS varsity wrestling team for all four years and advanced to the state meet his senior year.
But his strong ties to the veterans in Dripping Springs drove Cody Barron to join the U.S. Marine Corps and specialize in security forces.
“Dripping Springs is a huge veteran community,” Barron said. “Everybody has been really supportive. I’ve even had Marines come up and congratulate me. It’s very veteran-friendly.”
Barron recently completed Basic Training on Oct. 22. He is scheduled to report to the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, California, on Tuesday, Nov. 2, which is where he will be for 14 weeks.
“As far as wrestling goes, it’s sort of a full body workout all the time,” Barron said. “I was very well conditioned for Boot Camp and the strength I had coming out of wrestling in various muscle groups helped me.”
Throughout high school, Barron watched other wrestlers and peers join the Armed Forces.

Photo courtesy of Angela Fugate

“I saw friends and fellow wrestlers like Colby Collins join the service or Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC),” Barron said, “[and I saw]how they changed as a person like their demeanor and everything about them in a professional manner. Senior year, Colby came back on leave and I saw him at a tournament. I already enlisted but at that point, it was apparent that I made the right decision. If I could be half as good as him, then I would be plenty good.”
Basic Training teaches recruits how to be a basic Marine, Barron said. Recruits are trained to be disciplined, physically fit and to know the importance of making right decisions for the right decisions.
Watching Barron become a Marine, Angela Fugate has become even more proud of her son.
“In the Marines, nothing is given,” Fugate said. “Everything is earned. Even to get a five-minute phone call home, he had to do 21 pull-ups with a weighted vest. I learned that he got phone calls that he gave to other recruits that didn’t earn it, but they had family situations where they needed to call home. That was touching.”
Fugate added that she has gone through her own kind of transformation as a mother.
“What impresses me the most is when you see your child entering the military, you understand how young these new Marines and new recruits are,” Fugate told the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch. “It just makes things more real. It’s very humbling, just the level of commitment and discipline he has adapted in his own life. I personally feel called higher that we need to step up too.”

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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