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Martha Tansy Free Wheeling & Living Wild

Martha Tansy: Free Wheeling & Living Wild

By Chris Avena

Martha Tansy is a woman of many talents. She is an Army veteran, a sharpshooter, a television personality, an off-road racer, and the designated hunter for the indigenous Athabascan people who live in her Alaskan village. Martha lives a life in progress. To her, every day is a learning experience. She uses those lessons, her life experience, her talents, and her over-abundance of compassion to help others in need that she might come across in her travels. Martha has a warrior’s spirit and walks without fear in the Alaskan wilderness where danger might be lurking just around the next trailhead. Alaska truly is the last frontier. It is her home, and she is thriving.

Chris –Martha, you have a really storied history. You were in the military for five years. What did you do in the military?

Martha –I made my way up to the Army’s Vehicle Recovery Team, which means went out and did a lot of recoveries, whether people are struck or broken down. I was a mechanic that I was a very specialized in.

Chris –So, your mechanic training really helped you later on in life.

Martha –Yes, everything I do revolves around being in the woods. Being able to fix equipment while you are out in the woods was really important to me. Even as a child I was trying to figure out how to work on cars to get us back home when we had broken down. That’s kind of the goal when you want to go home, you want to be able to get home.

Chris –After your time in the service, did you work in a pit crew, and you raced off road?

Martha –Yes. So, I actually got into that, because I was breaking my trucks all the time while going off road. There was a shop locally where I lived in Alaska and they were able to help me fix my trucks and taught me quite a bit about field recovery and how to prevent issues from happening in the first place. But then in exchange, they had me working on their race cars and that’s how I kind of got into the building race cars. There is a NASCAR sanction track there in Alaska, and they were doing really well, but the cars that they were putting out of their shop. I got to learn a lot about high performance, setting up cars and then of course, when track day came, they put me and all sorts of really fun racecars.

Chris –So, that helped you with your military training.

Martha- I was trying to figure out where I was going to go in life. When I was in high school, I was already working on cars and building trucks and it just seemed like a good fit to go and be a mechanic in the military because I do have a passion to be in the woods and I love helping people. I love being a part of a team and accomplishing really big, hard mission. So, the military sounds like a great place for us.

Chris- You became the best you could be.

Martha- I did, I had a lot of fun. Going to training and then just being in the military was actually a blessing. I love the service that I did with them.

Chris – Is that where you learned how to become a sharp shooter?

Martha – I did. Growing up Alaska, there shooting everywhere. We had a shooting range in our back-yard. So, shooting is pretty common in Alaska. But I learned very specific ways to advance my shooting skills in the military. I love being the best that I can be. The military gave me training on how to do exactly that in regard to marksmanship.

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