UVALDE, Texas – On the northwest corner of Uvalde County, you’ll find 18,000 acres of serene Texas scenery at The Ox Ranch. This sprawling Lone Star State spread is home to an exotic game ranch and happens to have some fascinating full time residents that’ll be happy to take any carrots you might have off your hands.
The biggest surprise here is housed in a metal building with some historic heavy equipment.
Dedicated to the greatest generation that ever lived, Drive Tanks.com offers a very unique experience that is well worth a stop on any bucket list.
“Well that’s what’s really unique,” Spencer said. “We reserve that right for our clients. They actually get to drive and shoot these tanks.”
Todd DeGidio came up with this explosive idea of allowing people to drive, operate, and even shoot some of the most iconic military weapons, and yes, that includes tanks.
“People want to see history,” Todd said. “They want to see and feel and live the past. You know, see what happened in the past. I don’t think that you can put a label on it, and that’s the good thing about our operation.”
Todd served as a green beret back in the 80’s and his team of veterans helps run this operation with some serious firepower. This fire power includes a Russian T34 tank, a German Half Tracks, a Sherman E8 tank, anti-tank guns, machine guns, mortars, and flame throwers.
“We have people constantly just sitting here and I’m like you know you can touch ‘em,” Spencer said. “It’s kind of different. Usually you’re in a museum, and you’re like, ‘If I cross the red tape, will they kick me out?’ No here we want you to actually grab it, lift it off the wall, feel it, feel what it feels like, and imagine yourself shooting it.”
As you drive through the tank coarse, the thrill of commanding 31 tons of American made military might is immeasurable.
“We have military people come and say, ‘Yeah this was on my bucket list because I never could do that in the military,’” Todd said. “So, it’s a very small percentage that even get to do that in the military.”
Dodging explosions and turret gunners takes this experience to the next level. You can’t help but think of the young men who didn’t do this for fun but to protect our freedom.
“When you sit in one of these things and hear the engine running, and realize there was somebody that was in here defending our country overseas and this was their only means of survival and this was how they had to survive and live and fight; it brings a whole new level of meaning to what these pieces of equipment are,” Todd said.
There’s no doubt our Armed Forces are the greatest in the world and we appreciate their incredible service and sacrifice to our country. This experience adds to that appreciation.
“To be able to have them here and bring them to life just as they were in 1945, there’s nothing like it,” Spencer said.