BLHS grad at home in the Deep Blue
The closest view many people will ever have of a battlefield is the space between themselves and their living room television. For Basehor native Scott Martley -- a newly minted Air Force navigator -- the perspective will be much closer.
"It's something you definitely don't get to do in a civilian setting," said Martley, a 1996 graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School. "The things you see on CNN ... we're actually there. We get to help those troops on the ground. I take that to heart.
"(Though) we're not on the ground, we get to help them tremendously."
Senior officers pinned wings on Martley, signifying his evolution from airman to navigator, during a recent ceremony at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.
Martley will serve as a weapon system officer, or a "wizo," aboard B-1 bombers.
Martley is trained in operating as either an offensive weapons officer, which entails planning out missions and striking targets, or a defensive officer, in which "your main job is to keep the plane safe."
Martley, who is the son of Lloyd and Mary Martley, returned home on leave this week.
Following stints at Fort Scott Community College and Kansas University, Martley enlisted in the Air
Force in 2001 as a medical technician. Two years later, he decided to make the military a career and pursued a life spent above the clouds.
Martley graduated from Officer Training School in April 2004 and is working toward becoming mission qualified.
Next, he will spend five months at Randolph Air Force base in San Antonio for weapons school and spend more than two weeks in Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training in Spokane, Wash.
Martley said the allure of protecting his country outweighs the threat of danger that serving during a war would entail.
"There's always a fear of something happening, but the training you go through really prepares you for everything," he said. "You're never surprised when something stressful comes up."