For most wrestlers participating in Campbell University’s Battle At Bragg 2, hanging out with the team around the mat for the dual meet will be the closest they come to a military base. Brant Cracraft, however, has much bigger plans than just some face time with the men and women in uniform.
“My goals for after college are quite a bit different than most people,” Cracraft said. “I want to go into the military right after, and right now I plan on serving in the Special Forces.”
The 165-pound Campbell wrestler will compete in one of the most exciting events of the year, Battle at Bragg 2, only 30 miles from campus. For others, this event might be just another exciting wrestling match, but for Cracraft, the event and serendipity of it all means so much more.
“I just happen to go to the closest Division 1 college for wrestling right by Bragg, and then also happen to then wrestle at Bragg, too,” Cracraft said. “Everything about it is crazy how it seemed to line up.”
Coming out of high school, Cracraft didn’t want to wrestle in college, leaning more towards a military commitment. It was following a conversation with his parents about exploring different options that he saw an opportunity in Buies Creek he knew he couldn’t pass up.
“The Campbell [opportunity] came up and I knew it was one I should take,” Cracraft said. “With me being so indecisive and not really growing up in a military family, I knew that it was kind of tough to commit right away to that.”
Cracraft has always been attracted to the idea of enlisting in the military, eventually. He understands that being a part of the military is not easy, and with an interest in one of the most elite levels of the military in the world, it’s tough for the Wisconsin native to pinpoint an exact timeline on the venture.
It may be an intimidating endeavor, but Cracraft can’t fight the fascination.
“I think it’s the diversity that comes with it and how tough it is, too,” Cracraft said. “If it ends up being a career-long thing, it’s a career-long thing.”
While Cracraft doesn’t know where this desire to join the military came from, he knew that he never wanted to find himself stuck in the same daily routine year in and year out. He had other goals in mind and wanted to experience multiple things for himself.
“The whole, ‘go to college for this and then get super specified and you’ll do this forever’ just scared me,” Cracraft said.
With the support of his family, coaches and many more fully behind him, Cracraft knows it’s his decision to do what he wants after he graduates. Nothing is set in stone yet, but if the trip out of Buies Creek came tomorrow, it wouldn’t be long before his head was being shaved and he’d be suited up.
His current focus is on winning his match at the Battle at Bragg 2, but the fire to push himself to the fullest will follow him far away from the mat.
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