My father spent sixteen years of his life in the United States Air Force and decided he needed a change and transferred over to the United States Navy to finish out eight more years of dedicated service, where he would finally retire to the state of Maine.
I have been dragged all across the United States and to many different foreign lands such as Japan, Spain, Guam, and Italy. Now this may seem like an excellent childhood to some but the truth is every time we moved to a new place, I was always the new kid which caused a lot of problems. My home life was not exactly the greatest, my father was a very big and burly man who solved issues with us kids by the way of the hand (closed handed not open handed). His temper was as unstable as an elephant on a balance beam.
I was often picked on and in order to establish my place in society and a sense of respect I began to fight with other kids to establish a pecking order if you will. Although most of these bouts began to lean in my favor, I was suddenly no longer the little chubby boy being picked on but the big Bulli who picked on every one else. Some where along the way I had lost myself and became exactly what I hated the most. As the problems around my house became a way of life for me, I vented all my anger and frustrations out on anyone who dared to stand before me. This particular attitude stayed with me all through high school.
After graduating from high school I joined the United States Army and attended boot camp at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon my arrival there was a lot of yelling and confusion, it almost seemed as if I had just taken a round trip right back to my house where my father waited to tear me down both physically and emotionally. Weeks into my training one of my drill instructor’s had begun to notice that I did not respond well to negativity and would harass me on a regular basis stating that, ” You lack discipline, You lack courage, You need some positive reinforcement.” Later That day something in me snapped. I approached my Senior Drill Instructor and asked permission for quarters which is basically asking if him and I could speak in his office about a particular issue. My request was granted and completely changed my life forever. I spilled my guts out to this man, a stranger, he set up appointments for me with the Army’s Counselor where I under went several sessions to channel my anger into something positive and to break the cycle of violence that I shrouded myself in.
I was a new man, I was no longer angry with the world and for once in my life I had a clear picture what needed to be done. I was an unstopable positive force of nature. I made goals for myself and I became a father, not at all like the man who had called himself my father. My son and I share a very unique relationship and to him I am his friend first and his father second and that works well for both of us.
I often run into people I have humiliated or hurt in school and I still to this day apoligize to them for my behavior and I have not yet run acrossed one person who has not found it in their heart to forgive me. My virtues of my life are so very clear, strength, courage, valor, merit, and my love of life.