Old Sarge: Memories of a Warrior Woman

October 3, 2014

This is the latest in the series of memories and musings by Vietnam veteran, author, and friend, Forrest L. Gomez. 



I wish to bring attention to our female military veterans. My case in point is a veteran named Tony Gail Martin. She was an intelligent young woman, and was getting good grades at a California university in 1966. But she ran out of money to stay in school, so she joined the Women’s Army Corps (WACs), back when the WAC was a separate branch of the Army, and women were only allowed certain jobs. Tony was honor graduate in her basic training company at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and went on to be first in her classes in X-ray Technology and Dental Assistant. While going to school in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, she met and married an outstanding young man named Grant Lee Martin, a Green Beret.

At this time, the Vietnam War was in full swing. Tony and Grant enjoyed their lives together, but the inevitable orders came for Grant to go to Nam. While he was there, he earned the Distinguished Service Cross in the battles around Loc Ninh during the fierce fighting of 1968. Back home in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Tony used much of her time, before and after she left the Army in 1969, driving the families of Green Berets in Nam, and wounded Green Berets, to appointments and shopping in her yellow Volkswagen bug. The Green Berets at Fort Bragg gave her the nickname “The Green Beret Lady Bug Angel.” I have been told there is a plaque with her name on it somewhere at Fort Bragg.

Nobody knew much about PTSD in those days, and Grant was not able to settle quietly into their marriage after getting back from Nam. Consequently, the marriage of Tony and Grant did not survive. Tony moved back out to California after the divorce, then worked for, and eventually married Doctor Robert Borris. Tony and Bob were married happily for many years, until Bob passed away from cancer in 2004. Unfortunately, Tony Martin also passed away from liver failure nine months after Bob Borris.

Bob’s and Tony’s remains are interred in a Catholic cemetery in Hayward, California. The staff at the cemetery revealed several years ago that Green Berets and former Green Berets sometimes scale the cemetery walls at night, when the cemetery is locked up, and leave Special Forces memorabilia by Tony’s vault.

Long and short, Tony Martin left quite a legacy, and is still remembered as The Green Beret Lady Bug Angel, almost ten years after her passing. I miss her a lot. You see, Tony was my big sister. I chose her name for this tribute because she is the female veteran I know best. I pray that she is in the hands of Almighty God.

Pray for our veterans, and pray for one another, brothers and sisters. A lot of good folks gave years of their lives, and some their very lives, so that we can be free.

God be with you, one and all!

Old Sarge

Posted with permission of the author by  10/3/14

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