Veterans Day: The Jason Morgan Story Part 2
Posted by: iamratchet
In November of 2003 I received a call that changed my life, my National Guard unit had been activated for deployment to Iraq in support of
In 1998 I decided to follow in the footsteps of my father and his father before him and join the U.S. Army. When I received that enlistment check I bought myself a computer and discovered the World Wide Web and Ebay. My first purchase was a Clamshell cased copy of the 1986 Transformers Movie.
As the years went by I dabbled in all sorts of different Action Figures from Star Wars to McFarlane’s highly detailed offerings. I had shelves lined up in my home in a spare bedroom in my house that I hid from prying eyes. Toy collecting wasn’t as cool back in ’98.
After the tragic events of 9/11, I was stationed at a local National Guard Armory back home in Ronceverte with a fellow soldier who was a huge comic fan and since smart phones were a few years away, we read magazines. One of the magazines I read was an issue of Wizard and within its pages was the announcement of the return of Transformers G1 thanks to Dreamwave Comics. This was also the time when the R.I.D. line was on the toy shelves with bots that turned into vehicles again instead of animals and familiar names were returning such as Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, and the Combaticons. I began to focus solely on Transformers, selling off other figures to help fund my purchases.
Things changed again for my collecting when I was in a Toys R Us in High Point, NC while visiting family with my girlfriend Lisa and came across a Transformers Commemorative Series Dirge. I absolutely flipped out seeing Transformers from my youth on the shelves again, so I immediately scooped him up along with a Prowl I had found further down the aisle. I then proceeded to buy the Commemorative Collection from Amazon. I still lived in small town USA where the only stores we had was a K-Mart and Wal-Mart.
In November of 2003 I received a call that changed my life, my National Guard unit had been activated for deployment to Iraq in support of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. Lisa, my girlfriend, became my fiancé, then became my wife in the span of 4 weeks. We were married on December 14, 2003, the very church I got my first Transformer in. Then on January 2, 2004 I kissed her goodbye as my unit the, 1/201st FA left West Virginia for Iraq. Our mission was to provide convoy security to transports going from one base to the next. Anywhere from 15 to 30 Tractor Trailers with 3 Humvees as escorts.
I was a driver/gunner and my vehicle’s call-sign was “Cobra 2 Bravo”, which I thought was cool because…COBRA!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, I’m here to talk Transformers, I’ll save the military stories for another day. Just know that my Battalion did their job and every one of us came back home in one piece. We did have quite a bit of down time after we completed our escorts for the day. Usually wrapping up about anywhere from noon to 4:00pm and our commanders gave us the rest of the day off if it was feasible. We had access to Internet Cafes and good ‘ole Amazon.com was more than willing to ship to soldiers overseas.
2004 was a good year to be a Transformers fan as far as Multi-Media was concerned, episodes of G1 and Beast Wars were available on DVD, Titan Books was reprinting the classic MARVEL run, and Dreamwave was putting out collected editions of their series, including the fantastic “More Than Meets The Eye” books that focused the biographies of all the G1 bots.