Johnny Martin joined the Army prior to graduating from high school and entered shortly after his graduation in 1967. He chose airborne and special forces (SF). Since he was his mother’s only child, the military would not send him to Vietnam. So Central and South America became his area of expertise, where he worked at the Jungle Training School and was a member of the USARSO Jump Team and Fort Bragg, N.C. - his home base - where he was an instructor for phase two SF training on the halo team and demolition team.
Ann Wood Martin joined the Army after graduating from high school, and chose to be a physical therapy technician after volunteering as a candy-striper at an Easter Seal Center for two years. After advanced individual training (AIT) for basic medical corpsman and physical therapy technician at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, she was assigned to Fort Bragg. Years later, due to arthritis, she was medically reclassified to administration and did AIT at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind.
John and Ann met at Fort Bragg's college-level night school in 1977. Five years later they started a family; Ann left active duty for reserve duty and John was sent to Granada as the leader of one of two teams sent to train and rebuild. When John returned from Granada, the family moved to Baltimore when John was assigned to the senior ROTC program at Loyola College until his retirement in 1987.
When John retired, the family moved back to Florida and John became a JROTC at Riverview High School in Sarasota. Ann became an instructor with the 3388th USARF School in Tampa. In 1991 Ann was one of 20 personnel activated for a temporary tour of active duty to be casualty assistance officers for Desert Storm in central Florida.
By the end of the school year of 1991, John’s position at Riverview High School had been eliminated and he had gotten a position at JROTC at Northside High School in Fort Smith, Ark. The family moved to Fort Smith and eventually Ann got a job as a secretary at OK Farms, Breeder Department.
After 20 years, John retired with the distinction of 12 years' consecutive state championships with the JROTC Three-Position Air Rifle Team, and Ann retired from OK Farms after 19 years. John has been a Boy Scout leader/assistant Venture Crew leader for years. John volunteered at the Red Cross as an instructor for years, and now at the American Legion and their church. Ann volunteers at their church and as one of several who drive the Fort Smith DAV Van.