The best things you learn in the Army you learn by word of mouth from good NCOs and officers (mostly NCOs). When I was a brand new Private in the 82nd Airborne Division, my first squad leader told me to go down to The Hobbit on Yadkin Road and get a proper cut and laminated map before I went out on my first field problem. I was new and impressionable and didn’t want to disappoint, so I did as he said, without question.
The Hobbit, mind you, is a hobby store very close to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It’s a nerd’s paradise full of Warhammer stuff, models, and role playing clubs on weekends (and I’m not judging, readers of this blog know my interests). When I opened the door in my green BDUs with rolled sleeves and a high and tight, meekly looking around as I stepped inside, the guy behind the counter, a large man with a Game of Thrones-esque beard quickly said “Map?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Right there in the box behind you. It’s fifteen bucks.”
I turned around and saw that indeed there was a box full of cut and laminated maps of Fort Bragg.
The Hobbit has made a small business out of cutting and laminating maps that are foldable and can be placed neatly in the cargo pocket of a soldier’s trousers. Since awkwardly walking into the hobby store back in 2001, I’ve sent every map I’ve been issued there to be cut and laminated and sent back to me.
I have no idea how long they have been providing the service. They don’t have a website or even a legit Facebook page. I’ve always just mailed them my maps with a handwritten note of what I want and a phone number to call me to finalize the deal. It’s relatively inexpensive, fast, and the end product is a map, beautifully cut and laminated.
So, what I’m saying is, if you want your maps expertly cut and laminated, send them to The Hobbit. While there may be someone else that does it locally here at Fort Hood or other posts, I don’t know them. I know The Hobbit. They’re a known quantity and they’re good.
6111 Yadkin Road, A
Fayetteville, NC 28303
I’m a bit remiss to do this post, because I feel like I might be letting the cat out of the bag. But I like the service so much that I felt it would be helpful to spread the word.