E. D. “Marty” Martinez (MSG US Army Retired)
Born amongst humble means and a multiracial family I arrived in 1952 in the cityof Santa Barbara, CA. Where my Father and Mother started their own bakery for the people of Santa Barbara. I have two older and one younger sibling. Lived inSanta Barbara until age five and then moved on to Anderson, CA where my father worked with family, at a bakery, there and later took a managerial baker position with the Safeway Company in Redding, CA.
An opening to a new store came about three years later and so at age nine we
moved to Paradise, CA where I literally grew up. I was a child of the woods and
nature and spent every opportunity wondering the canyons and woods near my
home. Active in scholastics, sports and spiritual pursuits. Graduated from H.S.,
accepting a scholarship to UCLA. Was an athlete and fraternity member during
my short stay.
Volunteered for the US Army in late 1971. I entered the service, back then, as a
36C-Telephone Installer and Construction Lineman. It seemed according to my
recruiter the only job open!!! Got to basic and soon found out I was the old man
at 20! Graduated from Basic and went to my Advanced Individual Training at Ft.Gordon, GA.
There fate intervened in the form of Airborne Recruiters wanting to know if some of us wanted to jump out of perfectly good airplanes? Well, being the curious lad
I am, I ended up volunteering to do just that. The Army sent me to Ft. Benning, GA where I graduated from Airborne training. While I was there, another curious thing happened, Special Forces Recruiters showed up at Jump School and asked if we wanted to be, the best of the best? Well, my sense of adventure got the best of me.
I volunteered for Special Forces training where I was immediately sent to Ft. Bragg, NC to begin my, best of the best, training. Several months later I was fortunate enough to walk across the stage and receive my hard earned Green Beret. I was assigned to a unit in 7th Special Forces Group. I asked my Sergeant Major if it was possible to get to Southeast Asia before everything was over. Knowing my curious self I didn’t want to waste all this training and not to have used it!
He said he could get me there, if and only if, I went to Ranger School. So, being
me, I said sign me up! Spent two and a half months back in Georgia at Ft.
Benning and earned my Ranger tab. Got back to Bragg and my ticket was waiting. Thus, starting a 27 year military career. Placed my footprints all across this Earth. Only one continent, I never managed to tread, Antarctica. Flown over it, never placed my foot on it.
I am one of those natives that has actually been walking the road all along but
never realizing it until my awakening! Always knew I had several tribes in my
background. Until a little research showed I have Comanche, Cherokee,
Yaqui and Mayan. I was blessed and honored to be asked to join the VA Sweat
Lodge Elder Council a few years ago. Our Chief, Warren Guhl, has been on your
Show discussing the Inipi and our work there. I am forever grateful for his asking, so, here we are!