November 16, 2023
A Purple Heart Veteran in Florida was surprised with a Midland MXT275J Jeep® MicroMobile Two-Way Radio.
Ahead of Veterans Day, Chris Chubb shares his service story and how Midland's MicroMobiles are crucial to safety while off-roading.
Chris Chubb graduated from high school in 1990 and never saw himself as someone who would ever serve in the military.
"Out of the blue, I realized I needed to do something and so I went to see a recruiter. I took the testing- the physical, so on and so forth, picked a job because of a video they showed me, and it ended up being the best thing I had done in my entire life.”
He would leave for basic training in September of 1990, graduated, completed Advanced Individual Training (AIT), and reported for Explosive Ordinance Disposal School. Chubb said the EOD is known as the military's bomb squad. He graduated from EOD School in November of 1991.
From then on, he would come to serve in locations around the country and the world.
Chubb was initially stationed at Fort Belvoir Virginia, right outside of Washington DC.
“I had my first combat deployment from there. I went to Somalia in July of 93’. I was there for the whole Blackhawk Down event including leading up to it and afterwards.”
After that deployment, Chubb would head to Germany and would later return to his next station in Utah. Here, he responded to the chemical weapons facility.
“It was a lot of fun being out there- not the chemical weapons, those aren’t fun. The stuff we got to see and do out there was a lot of fun and unique.”
Chubb returned to Fort Belvoir and would leave the Army in August of 2001.
“I just wasn’t having fun anymore. The thing that did it for me was the U.S. Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. I was deployed with the Secret Service and the State Department to Nairobi, Kenya and I assisted the FBI on that post blast investigation. I wasn’t mad at the military or anything, I was just done.”
A month after Chubb left the Army, 9/11 happened.
“To be honest, I was really frustrated. I was angry at the people who did it. I was angry that they completed their mission. I wanted to get back in and do whatever I needed to do as a bomb technician to keep my people safe and get these people who did this. I struggle with the fact that I felt this way to this day."
Because of the attack, he would spend the next year working to get back into the military.
He spent the net year trying to get back in.
“I was able to get back in through the National Guard, but I had to do some National Guard time which ended up deploying me for a year. It was stateside, but what they consider a deployment. I worked U.S. Special Operations Command and Headquarters in Tampa, Florida for General Holland.”
Chubb made his return to the Army in February of 2004 in which he reported to Fort Drum New York.
In December of 2004, Chubb deployed to Iraq.
His life would change forever on February 27th, 2005 while at a checkpoint in Southern Iraq.
“I got hit by a secondary device right in the face. I was medevaced to Germany. I don’t know how long I was in Germany. It’s a blur and I just remember being there. I was sent back to the states- Walter Reed. I was formally released from Walter Reed at the end of May, beginning of June of 2005.”
Upon his release from Walter Reed, Chubb was reassigned to a teaching position in Florida.
“Even though I’m Army, I was teaching at an Air Force base teaching at a Navy school.”
Medically retired in September of 2007. He then worked as a contractor for organizations like the FBI, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), the State Department, and of course, the Army.
For Chubb, he realized his service put him at crucial moments in history.
“I’m thankful that I lived through it. There are so many little things that I just feel lucky enough to have been part of that at the time seemed very benign. In Somalia with the whole Blackhawk Down, at the time was just combat, but was actually history.”
However, he knew his deployments after 9/11 would take him to war zones that would be written about in history books one day.
“For me personally, all of it was important to me.”
But it was his time in the classroom after his injury that would prove to be the most impactful.
“The most rewarding thing I did was teaching. People always say, ‘Those who can’t do, teach.’ I wasn’t allowed to do what I was trained to do anymore in combat because I’m blind.”
It was an experience unlike anything else.
“It was a really awesome experience because I still got to work with my peers. I wasn’t working with basic training students teaching them how to become a bomb tech. I was working with active, deploying operational bomb techs that were about to go overseas. I was training them for three weeks on all sorts of advanced things.”
This meant preparing his peers to face challenging and dangerous situations.
“A lot of them after their deployment would tell me that one little thing I taught them helped them, saved their life, saved someone else’s life. That sticks with me a lot. On the flip side of that, there were students of mine that didn’t come back.”
Chubb is now driving in his third Jeep, but that wasn't always the case.
He was introduced to off-roading while he was station in Utah. At the time he couldn't afford an off-road vehicle, but some of the guys there did and introduced him to Moab, Utah.
In 2001, he would get his first Jeep.
“I was literally living in it as a contractor. I had a roof rack. It was an old TJ four cylinder. We didn’t call it overlanding then, it was just camping.”
Chubb has understood the importance of reliable communication long before he purchased his first Jeep.
“Understanding radios and the need to communicate- that was the military that got me started.”
His initial foray into civilian radios was through HAM.
“After I retired and around COVID, I took my daughter on a 10,000 mile cross country road trip in my Jeep, all the way to the Pacific Northwest. The only radio I had was a HAM.”
It was on that roadtrip he realized HAM wasn't the way he wanted to.
“GMRS really interests me because you still need to have a license to operate it, but more and more repeaters are getting set up across the U.S. It’s much cheaper and very reliable. I don’t need to be there doing math to figure out frequency patterns. It’s just power and antenna with GMRS."
Chubb first met Midland partner, Asia Samson when Samson was looking to make improvements to his Jeep.
“I had put tires on my Jeep and I had a lift. I put a video out the lift I was going to get and asking for peoples’ recommendations for a shop. He messaged me and said he would do the lift for me. I was apprehensive because I didn’t know who this guy was. The shop I was going to go to told me it was going to be a few months. I thought about doing it myself. I decided to reach back out to Chris on Instagram. I had another friend come meet me," Samson said.
They took the Jeep out on a test run, Samson would later introduce him to all his other off-road friends, and everyone would grow close quickly.
“I remember the first time I was talking about how I needed to get a radio, Chris was telling me not to get a CB and that GMRS was the way to go. He told me about Midland and I realized I had bought Midland handhelds for camping previously. Chris told me I would want the MXT275 because all the controls are on the mic," Samson said.
When the Midland MXT275J Jeep® MicroMobile® Two-Way Radio was launched, Samson help put together content.
"I didn’t need the radio, I wanted to help and I knew there was someone who would want it and that’s Chris," Samson added.
Chubb had no idea when Samson showed up that he would end up with the two-way radio he had always wanted.
“I was a little worried because I didn’t know why Asia said he needed to stop by. I thought he was going to ask me to install something.”
Since he's been using the MXT275J Jeep MicroMobile, Chubb has noticed significant improvement to his communication.
“I love it. It just works. I can turn it on and it’s clear," he said.
He's since added on the MXTA25 3 dB Gain Ghost Antenna.
“Now that I’ve upgraded the antenna, it’s even better.”
Chubb has even put the MXT275J to test in the heavily-obstructed area he lives in.
“My wife and I tested it with a walkie talkie. She got two or three miles away. That was with a lot of hills and wooded areas.”
However, for Chubb, it comes down to the quality of the MXT275J Jeep MicroMobile.
“The biggest thing for me is, it doesn’t feel cheap."
To honor the service of our veterans, Midland Radio is marking Veterans Day with a donation opportunity November 6-14, 2023.
Customers can make a donation to Folds of Honor. With a $5 donation, customers will receive a free Midland USA shirt.
The organization provides life-changing scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen or disable military of the United States. The mission has expanded to include the families of America's first responders.