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Longhorns At Large: Iraq

Our Longhorns At Large series continues today with a reader we're very grateful to have had the chance to talk with. BON'ers, please welcome and give your best to SPC Jason Matthews, United States Army, currently stationed in the hell hole better known as Tikrit, Iraq. He proudly serves with the 136th Sig Battallion.

Again, if you're a Longhorn fan reading BON from afar, please take a moment and email us if you'd like to share your story. For those that already have, thank you. We're eager to get all of your stories up on the site soon.

Burnt Orange Nation: Thank you for chatting with us, SPC Matthews. Can you give us some background about how you enlisted in the Army?

SPC Matthews: I enlisted in the Texas National Guard my senior year of high school.  I had earned high enough marks to get into UT but did not have the money to pay for the school.  The GI Bill and Guard scholarships have helped me to stay nearly debt free through my college career.  I actually became a Texan on the day I was sworn in.  I come from a extended military family, my father and both my grandfathers are also veterans.

Burnt Orange Nation: And how about the Longhorns? How did you become a fan?

SPC Matthews: Coming from an Army family, I moved a lot when I was young, so I did not follow college sports as a child.  I went to high school in TX and wanted to go to a large state school.  UT was the best fit and within a couple weeks of moving to Austin I was hooked.  Since then I havent missed too many games and have spent a lot of time outside the Erwin center camping out for good seats.

Burnt Orange Nation: Do you get to see any Longhorn sporting events on the Armed Services Network?

SPC Matthews: There are a limited number of games that get broadcast, so I am lucky that the Horns are good in so many sports.  So far this year I have not been able to see a football game; only the Ohio State game has been televised and I was away from the base for that week.  I was able to watch the final three football games of last season and all of UT's bastketball games in March.  The OU and Nebraska games will definitely be on the broadcast, and I looking forward to both of those matchups.

Burnt Orange Nation: What other ways do you get to follow Texas sports? Is it difficult? How did you find Burnt Orange Nation?

SPC Matthews: I generally follow sports through the internet, BON and are the main sources.  Being from a TX based unit, we have a lot of fans here so every once in a while you get some information from around the water cooler. I originally found Burnt Orange Nation from a link on a friends blog, TetherBalls.

Burnt Orange Nation: Is there anyone here in the US that you'd like to shout out and say hello to?

SPC Matthews: I would like to send my regards to my beautiful wife and the Triumverate of Bland. I would also like to pay my last respects to Bongos BBQ and 1009 W. 26th st which both passed while I was away. Good luck to your site and to the 'Horns. If all pans out as I hope, I might be stateside in time for the A&M tailgate.

Burnt Orange Nation: We sure hope you are. And if so, make sure you get ahold of us so we can guide you in for some beer and football. Good luck and stay safe! God bless.