About Marty anD T-RAV
I was born in September of 1967 to a hippy mom and a Special Forces dad. Just kidding, my mom isn't really a hippy but you can't tell from some of those old pictures...and the way she used to dress me...lol. Anyway, I often joked that I exited my mother's womb and performed a PLF (parachute landing fall) as the doctor caught me in parachute silk. I was born on Fort Bragg, home of the 82nd Airplane Gang and the Army's Special Operations Forces and later in life I would be a member of both. I grew up in Washington State, where my parents settled with just a few moves here and there - far less than the typical military family experiences. After graduating high school in 1985 I went off to college as a journalism major and then a land and turf major and then, having let college interfere with my education, I joined the Army and headed off to basic training, airborne school, and the 82nd Airborne Division as an infantryman. Later I would reclassify as a psychological operations specialist. My career culminated at the rank of First Sergeant where having had several surgeries, including open heart surgery, I decided my body had had enough. I retired with 20 years of service and transitioned immediately to a civilian government employee position at the Army's Special Warfare Center and School where I have worked since July of 2008.
I have a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, a master's degree in sports management, an advanced gunsmithing certificate, and an associate of science in firearms technology. I have previously started and ran my own business, Team Rhino LLC, which focused on running wrestling clubs, wrestling tournaments, and supporting grassroots wrestling efforts throughout the state of North Carolina. I have coached 5 year olds through high school aged wrestlers, coached national teams, advised collegiate wrestlers, and mentored coaches at all levels.
When I retired from coaching at the end of the 2014-15 wrestling season, I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands. I re-ignited my passion for cooking and dove into the science and art of backyard barbecue focusing on low and slow and also turning out a beautiful ribeye or succulent duck or chicken breast (that is Peruvian smoked chicken on the left - a fantastic recipe). That passion continues today as I consider hiring my cooking services out for backyard parties in order to free up the hosts to enjoy themselves.
I also turned my time towards gunsmithing. While my wife and I are both avid shooters, but I never considered myself a gun guy. I love gunsmithing. I think it is close related to tying flies for fly fishing something I did for years. They both take precision, patience, and attention to detail and are very rewarding. We intend on moving within Moore County and when we do I will immediately apply for my Federal Firearms License and officially open my gunsmithing business, until then I am happy to offer advice, counsel, and even peer over your shoulder while you do the work.
My wife and I were raised Catholic and we raised our children in that faith. Over the years I studied a lot of different religions, philosophies, and ways of life, and have come to some conclusions but also have more questions than ever. The world is much different than it was when I was in high school. Our world transforms so quickly. In less than 50 years we went from the Wright brothers at Kittyhawk to dropping atomic bombs from B-29 Superfortress Bombers. Incredible. Sorry for the downer example. So anyway in my research and studies I happened upon the Universal Life Church. I liked their message. It made me think about why marriage is a legal matter and who can perform a ceremony from a legal perspective and how it used to be a mere blessing or acknowledgement by the community that two people were making a commitment to each other. I thought about this a long time and asked, why should I not be able to preside over my daughters' weddings? The answer was simple, there is no reason why I should not be able to. So on May 12, 2016 I became an ordained minister in the ULC. I find it to be very special to be a part of my friends’ and family’s special events. In May 2017 I performed my first wedding ceremony in the mountains of NC, I have known the bride since she was 10 years old...I am so glad I pursued this and was able to bring her and her husband together spiritually and legally.
I have been running wrestling tournaments for close to two decades, beginning before there was computer software readily available and we would stay up till 2am filling out brackets by hand. We have come along way since then with online registration, live streaming, and live scoring. These days I am very selective about which organization's I support but am generally open to offers and am always available to lend advice or counsel. As the kids say HMU. I am also a NCHSAA wrestling official so if you are in need of an official holler but I may be retiring my whistle soon.
So all of this change since I retired has led me to consider my next retirement and the time leading up to it...Team Rhino American Ventures is going to be part of that.