I am an American Veteran.
I proudly served in the United States Army on active duty from April 1997 to 2007. I joined the reserves in 2007 until 2013. 3 years being regular reserve and the other 3 being Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR).
I went to Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Charlie Company 1st Battalion 46th Infantry. Occupational Training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. My occupational specialty was the original 63 Whiskey (63W) Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic. Direct Support and Depot maintenance.
My first duty station was Fort Bragg, North Carolina from September 1997 to June 2001. From there I was reassigned to Warner Barracks in Bamberg, Germany from June 2001 to January 2007. My reserve duty was in Kaiserslautern, Germany. My final rank was Sergeant (E5).
Units assigned to:
39th Ordnance Company, 7Th Transportation Battalion, Fort Bragg 97-98
Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion 27th Field Artillery Regiment MLRS, Fort Bragg 98-99
503rd Maintenance Company, 264th Combat Support Battalion, Fort Bragg 99-01
317th Maintenance Company, 71st Combat Support Battalion, Bamberg, Germany 01-07
406th AG Human Resource Company, 7th Civil Support Command, Kaiserslautern 07-13
My deployments Include:
Intrinsic Action 98-03 and 99-01 Southern Watch no fly zone and Operation Desert Fox in Kuwait from August 1998 to March 1999.
Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-2004.
Operation Iraqi Freedom 2005-2006.
1 Army Commendation Medal
4 Army Achievement Medals
3 Army Good conduct Medals
1 Army Reserve Achievement Medal
1 National Defense Service Medal
1 Iraq Liberation Medal with 4 stars
1 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
1 Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with 1 star
1 Global War or Terrorism Service Medal
Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 4
Mechanics and Drivers Badge
Expert Marksmanship Badge
German Marksmanship Badge – Bronze
Multiple challenge coins, Certificates of Achievement and Appreciation. (Pat on the back)
The privilege to proudly wear multiple combat patches
I am very proud of my time in the U.S. Army. I would never trade it if I could. There were good times and bad. Training was tough at times but the knowledge learned was rewarding when it come time for deployments. Times could be boring with waiting around and other times were highly stressful with so much to do in a little time frame. With teamwork and training we accomplished everything we set out to do. I really miss it sometimes.
I was not a fast tracker for rank by no means. I stayed a Specialist (E4) for a very long time, too long looking back on it. I did not mind though. Its not a bad rank to hold. Should I have worked more to get promoted higher? Yes I should have. But I did not care and that was my problem. I liked being a mechanic on the floor and working with others and sharing knowledge and experience. NCO’s do not always get the privilege due to additional duties.
I have seen people come and go. Some of my friends have died in Combat and some from drug abuse and suicide. Often from conditions related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I will talk about PTSD on another post later. The military is not meant for everyone. Many people turned to Alcohol or drug addiction to help handle the stress or the lack personal discipline. The Army has recognized it and has programs in place to help with drug addiction recovery. Those who don’t seek assistance will get punished by UCMJ.
Some come for the college money and leave as soon as possible and some with the same intentions turn it into a career. What I don’t like is the people who are against soldiers going to war, protesters, and deserters like Bowe Bergdahl who deserves to be shot by his peers. The US Army is an all VOLUNTEER force and I feel no person has the right to protest what we do when we volunteered to do it. Soldiering is our occupation.
Flag walkers and Flag Burners…. If I catch you myself I am going to get a collapsible baton out and I am going to start busting knee caps, balls, jaws, and skulls. Too many soldiers proudly died for that flag. It does not mean you are expressing yourself, it means you are a Disrespectful, Ungrateful, Liberal Democrat Prick. You should be deported and I do not care where you were born. You really do not belong in the UNITED States of America. If you want to burn a flag please wrap yourself in it first.
Things I did like doing in the Army was the traveling, I got to see so many places. I liked going to the ranges and firing different weapon. When I was at Fort Bragg we would ruck 20 kilometers for time every 3 months with train ups in between. 4 hours was the standard but if you completed it under 3 hours you got a 4 day pass. My best times were between 2 hours 40 minutes and 2 hours 50 minutes. I was in pretty good shape, much healthier than I am now as for physical condition. To my own relaxed fault. I was never a PT stud, just marginal.
I had some excellent Mentors while coming up as a soldier. Peers, Squad Leaders, Platoon Sergeants, First Sergeants, Command Sergeant Majors, and some Civilian Cadre in the schools who taught me well. The NCO’s were almost always available to the subordinates when needed. If they weren’t they made sure someone else was and you knew who.
I’d like to thank all my Battle Buddies whom I served with while in Germany and Iraq. I am proud of you guys and those still serving. Wolf Pack, No Slack! You guys know who you are. You guys will always be considered my brothers and sisters. You all are welcome in my place even though I am living in the jungles of the Philippines now. I love this place. Google Caramoan and see.
To everyone else stay strong, keep your heads up. Live your Military branch’s core values, your creeds, uphold your oath to serve the people of the United states and defend the constitution and The Bill Of Rights. Remember that Patriotism is love of your country, not the UN, and not its elected leaders.
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David Lee Martin
Functional US Army Veteran