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Huntington Beach - SOLDIER BECOMES PLAYBOY

Soldier becomes Playboy

 Bunnies make party for H.B. native a bit more hopping. The soldier will return to Iraq shortly for his second tour of duty.

Pfc. Garrett Ferguson was sipping drinks and eating tacos with a couple hundred of his closest friends and family at the Davenport Island house in which he grew up. About a week before, he was a gunner on top of a Humvee in the middle of Baghdad, where he’d been for nine months in his first tour of duty. He goes back there in a couple of weeks, so in the meantime he plans to relax.

But he had no idea what his parents had planned for him.

As mother Diane Ferguson led him away from his buddies to the front driveway, the soldier appeared stunned as he set his eyes on a black limo flanked by three platinum-blond models from Playboy.

Three of Hugh Hefner’s past girlfriends had just showed up, and Ferguson’s parents made his Saturday night party that much more memorable.

With a big, dumbfounded grin, Ferguson put his arms around Playboy pinups Tina Marie Jordan and twins Sandy and Mandy Bentley, and had a few different reactions at once.

“This is so cool!” was followed by, “All right Mom and Dad, you’re not fired!”

After a pause, he asked, “Any of you want to marry a soldier?”

It was all thanks to his mom. She knew Jordan through a doctor she works with, and Jordan was happy to see what she and Playboy Enterprises could do for a soldier on leave.

After some chatting and posing for the camera, Sandy Bentley told him to call her up if he’s in Vegas next weekend.

“You’re really awesome, by the way,” she said. “I’ll get you in places.”

“And you’re cute as hell!” her sister added.

Serving as a gunner in the Rashid district of Baghdad, Ferguson has seen a lot of action. But because he had been back for only three days and has just two weeks more of civilian life, he’s keeping quiet about it except to his loved ones.

“I lost a good friend of mine there April 15,” he simply said. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

But his father Craig Ferguson loves to hear his son’s war stories.

“It’s so great to talk to him and get the real story, and not something third-hand, about what’s going on in Iraq,” he said. “It’s a scary deal, but I love hearing about it.”

From Ferguson’s point of view, he’s been getting ready for the Army his whole life; it just took him a while to decide to join up a year and a half ago. He talks about his time playing G.I. Joes as a child and football as a teenager, and his constant risk-taking.

No one else seems to see it that way; his friends and family say they were blindsided by his enlistment, especially because he left for Kuwait only a few months later.

But they have watched the Army give him the discipline and purpose he always craved.

Craig Ferguson saw his son try a lot of things growing up: art and drawing, the construction business, even underground fighting. But the Army is what worked.

“One day it was like they flipped a switch,” he said.

It all comes together in retrospect, younger brother Cory Ferguson, 22, says. Garrett Ferguson always had a reputation as an adrenaline junkie — something a handful of different people called him throughout the night.

“He’s a fighter, and this makes sense,” he said. “He’d try anything that was going fast or a high risk. He just thinks, ‘Let’s do it!’”

A gregarious guy, Ferguson never had problems making friends, and those who grew up with him are fiercely loyal to him — talking to him in a conference call a couple of times a week, even with a time difference that has him going to sleep as they’re waking up.

One of those people, Billy Kelly, has known Ferguson since fifth grade. He remembers Ferguson’s obsessions with speed skiing, dirt bikes, wakeboarding, and “whatever’s within reach” that will go fast and give him a thrill.

But he also remembers his friend staying over at his house for a couple of years, trying to figure himself out.

“This is the best thing that ever happened to him,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s sister Dawn agrees, even as she worries about him going back to Iraq in just a couple of weeks: “He smiles like he did when we were 12. I haven’t seen that in maybe 10 years.”

A couple of hours into the party, friend Bo Stockwell shows up and ribs Ferguson about wearing military fatigues at his own party.

“Don’t you have anything else to wear?” he jokes.

Ferguson blames his parents: “They made me wear these!”

By the end of the night, joking around with his buddies as they line up for autographs from Jordan and the Bentley twins, he’s back in a T-shirt, having a night he will brag about to his unit for months.



Published Thursday, October 18, 2007 2:31 PM by Brian Liberto

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About Brian Liberto

Brian Liberto represents the coast’s finest properties with an exceptional skill for innovative technology..He has a clear understanding of the mindset of luxury home buyers and sellers and undoubtedly meets their expectations. For sellers, today’s technology allows us to reach millions of qualified prospective buyers and sellers world-wide in real time. Nearly 87% of home buyers initiate their home search on the internet. We utlize technology via Facebook, Twitter, Zillow, Realtytrac, and Utube to sell your home today. We turn Browers into Buyers ! Our commitment: provide our clientele with the best in real estate representation & marketing services. Whether buying or selling, we strive to make the entire experience rewarding by exceeding your expectations & providing an extraordinary result