What's Happening



June 27th

Had a great grand wonderful time with Erika this past week in Alabama, but now it's time to make the journey back north to Alaska. 

In the meantime, enjoy this little "vignette" from my past.  I wouldn't even think of doing this nowadays, but back when I had PFC rank instead of Lieutenant bars on my collar this was how we rolled. That's right, boys and girls, it's story time...


Back in the day when I was a Joe stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma I hung out with some pretty good dudes in my unit, but, on occasion, we liked to have fun at the expense of others.

One particular night our battery had been tasked out to support the annual Monte Carlo Casino Night at the Ft. Sill Officer's Club.  Basically that meant we'd be the little worker bees all night while all the officers on post got to drink and play different casino games.  We had to set up the whole place, get it all ready to go, move poker chips from table to table during the event, clean up messes, take out trash, and all that kind of stuff that's no fun to do.  Oh, and the whole time we were watching these drunk Field Artillery officers have a good ole time while we busted our butts.

Now, to fuel this mass consumption of beer, the O-Club staff had dispersed kegs of beer--with a tap and everything just like you'd see at a bar--throughout the building and surrounding area out back.

As the night went on and we kept having to do the dirty work we got less and less happy.  Coupled with that was how it was a Saturday night and we all knew we weren't going to get anything out of the whole deal except for a "Great job, men.  We couldn't have pulled off this important mission without you.  Now get back to work."

So at the end of the night when we finally started packing things up I got an idea.  I got some of the guys together I knew I could trust and filled them in on the plan.  "Fellas, did anyone else notice that brand new keg of Coors Light they put out back in the Blackjack tent just before they closed everything down?  I don't think anyone even used it and it's just sitting there right now.  When we get done here tonight we're gonna back my truck up over there, lift that thing up into the bed, and go have us a party, courtesy of the O-Club."

And that's just what we did.  After everything was taken down and put away we left like we were going home to the barracks.  We met in the parking lot, I loaded 4 guys in the bed of my pickup, and with one other car and a few guys in that one we drove around back to the rear gate.  It was still unlocked so I just drove right in, backed it up to where that keg was still sitting on the concrete patio back there, everybody dismounted, we got it up in the bed of the truck, my buddy Eric laid down in the bed with his feet up against it to keep the refrigerator it was in from rolling around, and away we went to our buddy's apartment off-post.

A full keg of beer.  In it's own refrigerator.  With it's own tap.  All to ourselves.

The moral of the story?  Take care of Joe or he's gonna "take care" of you.


As the overused catchphrase I learned a few months back goes, "If you ain't cheatin' you ain't trying, and if you get caught you ain't trying hard enough."




P.S.  We didn't get caught.





June 23rd

So I'm over here in Alabama visiting Erika for awhile and we're having a great time.  She's flying all over the countryside doing great and wonderful things in flight school and loving it.

Last night I met her at Ft. Rucker so we could go to the gym together and while I was waiting I saw a lot of her classmates get off the bus before her.  Like any other time I see a group of aviators together, I started dying laughing because the vast majority, at least flight school students, think they're God's gift to the Army and I think it's hilarious to watch these posers walking around like they own the world.

You know the type, right?  Issued "aviator" sunglasses, beret all jacked up because they don't know what a real one looks like, cocky smirk on their face at all times, an over-exaggerated swagger in their walk, jump boots on (even though they've never been to airborne school), Kill 'em All or Death From Above sticker on the back of their car...  Ridiculous.

Of course, very few of them have any wings or tabs of any kind, and most will never even try, but they still think and act like they're the biggest tough guys in the Army.  Oh, and don't think for a second that they're not on the combat arms side of the house.  They're real quick to correct you on that one.  Wow.

Enjoy that 8 hours of mandatory "fighter management" time, flyboy.  I'll see you in the morning when I've walked all night to get to the PZ.

I understand that not all of them are like this, and some of my best friends are "army aviators", but there are quite a few out there that provide a bit of entertainment for me from time to time.






June 15th

Alright fine, I'll update my site.

Let's see here...  I made it to Alaska, it's an awesome place, I've got my first legit apartment, and right now I'm back down here in San Antonio for more leave time.  My squadron has been slated to go on "block leave" for quite some time so they told me to take another 2 weeks off as well.  I'll be here for a few days and then I'm gonna drive over and see Erika for a week or so and then head back up to "The Land of the Midnight Sun" by the 27th. 

I found out I won't be a platoon leader right off the bat, but I should be able to get a slot soon.  It seems the guys who elected NOT to go to Ranger School and got to Richardson before us got all the PL spots while those of us having fun at Benning screwed ourselves out of a platoon.  Congrats.

And now for some pictures from the greatest road trip ever.  Well, except for southern Canada.  That's no fun, but the rest of it?  AWESOME.


Old Faithful under a rainbow.  Ooohhhh   Ahhhhh.....


Old Faithful doing it's thing.


Not much to say.  Yellowstone Park is worth the trip.


First moose sighting.


Where the buffalo roam and the skies are not cloudy all daaaayyy....


A "forest" of signs started by a GI during WWII when he was helping build the Alaska Highway.  He put up a sign from his hometown and others started adding to it.


Most people hit deer or squirrels or raccoons or whatever.  Not me.  I have to look out for Rams.


Beware the killer Caribou.


Almost there.


Wrangell - St. Elias National Park.  I've heard Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park is even better.


Ft. Benning to San Antonio to Ft. Richardson.


So there ya have it.  Don't take the boat to Alaska.  The drive is infinitely better and you won't regret it.





May 29th

I made it.  We're done.  Finito.  Finished.  Over and out.

Here's the story of the whole thing, minus the "lost entries" that I'm still working to get back from Florida, and I want you all to know I lost a TON of sleep writing this so you damn well better enjoy it.

I give to you...



Thanks to everyone for the billions of letters, cards, drawings, notes, and marriage proposals (ok, just kidding on the last one).  I appreciate it all more than you could ever know and I won't forget all the well wishes and prayers sent my way. 

I'll keep everyone posted as best I can as I make the 4,500 mile road trip to Alaska so until then be excellent to each other and all that.






May 22nd

Tom's Graduation: Thursday, May 25th!!!

I got a call from him last night to let me know.  He's thrilled it's almost all over with, obviously, and wanted me to send his thanks for all the letters, Guestbook comments, packages, and good thoughts over the past few months.

Hope you've enjoyed the Ranger School updates- Tom'll be back posting again soon, and I'm sure will have a ton more stories to share.

Congrats to 501-06!  Have a wonderful night,


May 11th

A short update from Florida.  Tom accidentally left his journal (with the rest of the Mountains entries) on the bus from Dahlonega down to Eglin.  I got a letter from him tonight asking me to try to call the bus company to get it back- wish me luck!

Until then, I just have some excerpts from his letter:

"Florida isn't too bad at all so far.  The weather is nice when it's not storming, the chow hall is ridiculously good, the cadre are a whole lot more relaxed, and it's FLAT!!!  You can see for what seems like 20 miles.  It's great.  So far we've only done a bit of MOUT training and refinement of our platoon SOPs for battle drills and actions out in the field, but in a few days we'll be out on the FTX and when that's over next Saturday we'll be done.  The rest is all admin time."

"The next few days for us will be relatively relaxed, but slow, according to the recycles from the last class.  Starting Friday we'll be in a field environment and then the pace will pick up considerably.  I'm not quite sure what to expect just yet, but it'll be all good either way.  Soon enough I'll be there at Victory Pond with you pinning that friggin tab on and life will be good again."

He's definitely ready to be done, and pretty upbeat about everything... especially the fact that there are only 14 days left until graduation!  Send him a quick letter if you get a chance, or leave a comment and I'll send it on. 

Ranger Martin, T.
6th RTB
B CO, 1st PLT, 3rd SQD
ATTN: Class 501-06
6069 Walkers Lane
Camp James E. Rudder
Eglin AFB, FL 32542

As always, thanks for reading.  Have a great night!




May 5th

Tom is going onto Florida!!!   I haven't actually heard from him yet, but his 1SG up there in Dahlonega let him send an e-mail to his mom overseas to let her know he's going on- I guess he must know what it's like to be a deployed parent!  I'll update again when I hear more, but I wanted to pass on the news right away.

Graduation is May 25th- only 20 days to go!  His updated address is:a

Ranger Martin, T.
6th RTB
B CO, 1st PLT, 3rd SQD
ATTN: Class 501-06
6069 Walkers Lane
Camp James E. Rudder
Eglin AFB, FL 32542

Happy Cinco de Mayo, and here's to GREAT news!





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