The route to the former Putnam State Prison that now houses the offices for Tytan Tactical, as well as its parent and partner companies Tytan Pictures and Tytan Creates, takes you through the small town of Eatonton, Georgia. Like so many other communities in America’s heartland, Eatonton has fallen on tough times in recent years, but the bones of this once-thriving community remain: beautiful historic houses, a downtown that looks like the sort of place you might have taken your girlfriend for ice cream, and long stretches of dense, Georgia forest all offer a contrasting sense of community and seclusion, depending on where you choose to park your car.
As I passed through town, splitting my attention between my GPS and the scenery, my mind kept wandering back to my days as a Mustang-driving high school kid, putzing around the beautiful small town of Bennington, Vermont – back before the community I loved began to struggle under the weight of America’s economic downturn. Eatonton may not have the mountains my little piece of small town America did, but from the stoplight I sat at, it didn’t matter. The historic charm of Americana, the neighbors waving to one another as they passed on the sidewalk nearby, the friendly smile of the young woman I asked for directions… it all felt a bit like home to me.
When I was given the assignment to spend two days touring Tytan’s facilities, which include a sprawling prison complex, with a group of special operations professionals I’d never met, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of trepidation.
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