When you do everything right and it still goes wrong
Eric Greitens could not have asked for a better resume. With political aspirations stemming from his early childhood, young Greitens worked hard at school, athletics, and later his military career. Now, Greitens is the cause of much contention among his own party, but where did it all go wrong?
Early Life of Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens is a St. Louis native, son of Rob and Becky Greitens. He has two brothers, Aaron and Marc.
It’s clear from media coverage that Eric was an outstanding young man. From a profile written by Jeannette Cooperman for St. Louis Magazine, Greitens has had his sights set on politics since Kindergarten.
Despite these high hopes, Greitens, like many of us, worried about how he would pay for school. As a senior at Parkway North High School, Greitens dreamed of attending Harvard or Duke, but with two younger brothers, Greitens and his parents worried about the climbing cost of a college education. The ambitious Greitens worked hard to find scholarships that would help him reach his dreams.
Thanks to the Amateur Athletic Union, Milky Way Mars Scholarship, Greitens would make those dreams a reality and attend Duke University. Greitens was the spitting image of that kid in high school that somehow managed to do it all. He maintained an A+ academic average, was the captain of the varsity soccer team, ran marathons, volunteered with and lead the local Kiwanis Key Club, and was a summer camp counselor.
While in high school, Greitens met a young Jeff Smith. They competed against each other in soccer and both attended the Missouri Boys State government leadership program.
Jeff Smith is a former Missouri Senator who spend time in Federal Prison after pleading guilty to two felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Smith certainly has some strong opinions about Greitens, as documented by his tweets.
From following the Jeff Smith Tweet-hole, I came across Eric Greitens: The Heart and The Myth, a youtube video made by a group of current and former Navy SEALS, some of whom served with or commanded Greitens.
After being called out by his fellow SEALS, Greitens chose to release the following file on his website in 2016. This file includes a variety of documents from Greitens’ Navy career, liberally highlighted and not particularly well redacted.
A Worried Mother
“He stays patient when his son fusses, recognizes the inherited flashes of temper that worried his own mother” says the 2016 profile in St. Louis Magazine.
The First Wife
Anyone that’s done some digging into Greitens knows of the mysterious first wife, a short marriage lasting only until 2003. In a chapter meant for the book Charlie Mike by Joe Klein, Greitens’ relationship was detailed, including romantic dates in the English countryside, humanitarian work, and a wedding in a castle in Wales. When Greitens returned stateside and began SEAL training, the relationship began to deteriorate, ending with Greitens returning home to spend Christmas with family without his wife only to find on his return that she had left.
Public records reveal that the two wed in October of 2000 in Denbigshire, Wales.
According to Klein, this marriage was the first thing he ever failed at.
While the name of Greitens first wife is published, I am choosing not to do so here. From what I can gather, Greitens was little more than a speed bump in a successful career and I wish her all the best.
Rhodes ScholarEric Greitens Boxer 15 Mar 1997, Sat Cambridge Evening News (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England) Newspapers.com
Greitens continued to excel academically after his time at Duke, becoming a Rhodes Scholar and earning a doctorate from Oxford University. During his time at Oxford, Greitens boxed and married his first wife before leaving for Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, while it seems that she stayed behind to continue her education. The two reunited while Greitens pursued SEAL training in Coronado, CA.