Archive for February, 2007

Want to keep in touch while I’m deployed?

If so, it is probably not a horrible idea for you to send me your contact information. Should you decide to send me that information, it would be pretty helpful if it was in vCard format. No clue what a vCard is? Not a huge problem, chances are your email client’s address book supports the importing and exporting of vCards. Should you happen to be using Outlook Express, go ahead and click this for a quick how-to on the subject. Since I have absolutely no idea what my connectivity is going to look like this time around, you should include your mailing address and phone number. I may have to revert back to the stone age, and send postal mail for a while. Once you have your vCard made, attach it to an email and send it to me. Either here at anthony at anthonymartinez dot org or anthony dot martinez at gmail dot com.

Not to put a time hack on this or anything, but you have until around lunch tomorrow to get me your contact information if you want me to have it. I will be shutting down my internet tomorrow, and starting the fun process of manifesting for my insanely early flight to Kuwait sometime Thursday afternoon.

Final Touches

Yesterday was all kinds of busy, I ran all over Ft. Benning being issued new gear to deploy with. Nothing was really new, in the sense that I had never seen it before, it was simply gear with the new digital camo to replace the issued items from years ago with woodland or desert camo. Fortunately, CIF was accepting returns of gear that had been replaced by digital print items – that let me get rid of about half a duffel bag of stuff I never use.

The majority of my personal equipment is packed up, and right now I am ripping several of my favorite DVDs to my large external HD. As of yet, I still have no address for where I will be going. When I do, I will either post it here, or I will give it to my parents to pass along to various people. It does not look like I will be going anywhere with the same level of infrastructure as FOB Warhorse had, so I may not be able to email, chat, or call as often as I could in OIF3. Let’s just hope OIF5 goes by quickly, and relatively uneventfully. The sooner I get back, the sooner I can ETS and resume my civilian life.

RIP Katrina Coomer

At 15 1011CST FEB 2007, I witnessed the worst automobile accident I could have ever imagined. A young woman (Katrina Coomer) in her 1998 Honda Accord collided head on with an 18-wheeler immediately in front of my truck. The Accord essentially disappeared in front of me as I came to the most rapid hault my brakes could handle. Despite myself, and several civilians rushing to the destroyed Accord and working together to save the life of this young woman, Katrina did not survive.

I ask that anyone reading this pray for Katrina’s family. Her family should know that there were several people – military, civilian, law enforcement, and EMT alike, doing their best at the scene to try and save her life.

Rest in Peace Katrina. I did everything I could do. I wish I could have done more,

SGT Anthony J. Martinez

Update: I did in fact complete and fax the sworn statement, and have learned that they will be going back to the vehicle to make a final determination as to the condition of the seatbelt. All interested parties should be aware that human memory is far from infallible, and in high stress situations can create very real situations that do not in reality exist. Personally, I am quite certain I moved a seatbelt prior to checking her pulse. However, that memory could be incorrect, and the physical state of the seatbelt will know better than I. I do hope my memory is a fully accurate account of the event, but it is what it is.

Final Update: The LSP was cooperative in returning to the wreckage, and ensuring that there were no mistakes in their report. While my memory certainly tells me that there was a seatbelt, the physical evidence and on-scene reports from the LSP disagree. They do not disagree that we had to move something, nor do they disagree that something was cut to free her from the wreckage, it just was not the driver’s side seatbelt. Having seen photos of what was left of the vehicle, it really could have been anything, but it was clearly not the driver’s side seatbelt that was cut, as it remains intact. My apologies to anyone adversely impacted by this news, or the inaccuracies of my memory where the seatbelt is concerned.

RealSoonNow™

and by RealSoonNow™ I mean March 2nd. I will be coming home this weekend to drop my personal belongings off, and also to attend my Uncle Paul’s funeral (hopefully the timing all works out.) Much time will be spent on the road. Anyway, if you read this – and have any intentions of seeing me before I deploy again, you might want to exercise your use of email or the phone and get in touch with me. I will try to see everyone I can, but if I can’t – we’ll just have to throw a big party when I get back and become a civilian again.

Back from NTC

The NTC rotation was horrible, and I’m not even really going to talk about it because that’ll just piss me off. I did take some photos while I was there, with my trusty point and shoot Canon S410. Only 4MP, so I won’t be getting any huge prints out of the little camera, but it does a good job if I do a good job. My Canon Digital Rebel XT will be staying in hands I trust back in Houston while I’m gone. There is no sense destroying perfectly good equipment, so I’ll be leaving the XT here, and taking the S410 to Iraq again.

My NTC rotation ended with me flying home to spend time with my Uncle Paul, who has fought cancer hard for the last two years. It appears that there is nothing left to do medically that can save his life, but despite that he has remained positive and strong. To say I admire his strength and courage through this entire ordeal would be the greatest understatement of all time. Anyone that reads this, religious or not, I ask that you pray for him and the rest of my family.

Sunrise

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