The Truth about many things only comes to light if you get involved in it! I say this for many reasons about many things, and my reasoning for this statement is a simple one, I lived many such moments in my life.
Lets start, the year I was born, 1956, in America. I went through the first nine months of my life, having epileptic seizures, I had one hundred and ninety nine, in my first nine months, of life. To control these seizures, my mother would hold me under a running faucet soaking my head to stop said seizures. How did I overcome them, well an accident. My elder brother decided to remove the tray from my high chair at nine months old, and I flew head first to the floor and landed on my head Good-bye seizures, it seems a small flap, I had been born with attached to my brain was then forced into reattaching. Medical Proof is in my medical records of old. I am now 64 years old and still here on earth.
The seizures ending didn’t stop my problems in life, they were but the beginning of them. I went from a child with seizures to one they called in the 1960’s, emotionally disturbed. They were wrong of course, because I wasn’t emotionally disturbed, I had and still have to this day, Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyper-activity. They didn’t know what it was in the 1960s, so I suffered more than most with the misdiagnosis. I was given to the State of Connecticut due, to it all. For two years from age ten to twelve I was Institutionalized in a Place called The Children Center, located on Whitney Avenue in Hamden, Connecticut. For those two years, I persisted, fought and survived and never changed in anyway, to be finally released to go back to my family. Not before they tried to adopt me out to other families I rejected, of course, my mother even had my real father contacted and asked if he would take me, he said he would , but Mom balked at that one and refused to sign me over. So yes I know Truth, Yes I know Persistance too, I also know determination and yes grit.
Once through the walls of lies and problems as they called it all, I was twelve years old and back in the school I started at in Waterbury, Connecticut, Buck’s Hill Elementary School. A school of mixed children or all racial pasts and colors and I was fine. I would Graduate from there in 1969.
I was not your average child in anyway you looked at it back then, I was lost in exploring the woods and books and comic books. I would escape into these places, because I never felt like I fit in anywhere, I could not be like all the rest of the kids around me. I was born a loner, like a lone wolf, I would run and hide on my own observing others from a distance. I was the outsider so to say.
By, 14 years old I had Graduated and Applied to a Technical High School in Waterbury, Connecticut, it was called Kaynor Technical School. I did the test the year I graduated Elementary 1969 and awaited the results, that summer. I remember my step-father, driving me down the day I took it. He asked me if I thought I could pass the test, I told him I would. The entrance exam, was to be a three hour exam covering all technical activities and academic activity too, The program is set up so one week is in the classroom for regular classes and the next in the Technical class you have choosen to take. I must admit I floundered in this case on my own because of distractions and my inability to concentrate, so after the introductory year, we moved to another town and I was withdrawn from the school, I wanted. I hadn’t failed the school, but, I had no choice but to go to a regular High School in my new hometown of Naugatuck, Connecticut.
I would last less than two years in the new school, before I was expelled and never went back. I went on to Factory Work In Uniroyal. There I became I serviceman on the lines producing sneakers Many weeks I worked 80 hours a week, making decent money. Yet factory work was not for me, and I tried many other small factory jobs and hated them, I would bounce from one to another, always unhappy.
By eighteen, I was done with factory work and tired of it all, it was the same shit day by day and it got boring. So one day, I wandered into a Recruiting Office for The US Army. Yes I joined up, went through Boot Camp and then to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland for training as a m-88 Tank Retriever driver. I didn’t finish the training or my Army contract, I was given a Trainee Discharge and released Honorably that year. The thing was I lost concentration and lost my way due to my step-father being ill also at home. Army Life was not for me at that time, I struggled still at this point.
Between the ages of 19 and 22, I worked numerous jobs none that made me happy or any money, so I joined The Connecticut Army National Guard and became a Machine Gunner Scout. I would attend a weekend per month and do two weeks of training per year in the summer. But the economy was tight and so were regular jobs, and trying to survive was rough.
1978, was a year of change for me, I decided I had had enough of trying to struggle to survive. I went down and this time, I joined the United States Navy. I left my home state of Connecticut on December 29th, 1978, four days after Christmas in a snow storm that was huge. Destination, Great Lakes, Ill. Boot Camp for Sailors. I had problems and ultimately, I went on to complete Boot Camp and then onto the other side of Great Lakes, to the A School side. I attended Boiler Technician “A” School and reported to my first ship, in July of 1979, The USS Dahlgren, DDG-43.
From 1979 to 1989, I would serve aboard three different ships, The Dahlgren was the first, the second was an Oiler, The USS Monongahela , and the final one was an LPD called The Pounce. Now, in between ships I served on Shore Duty Stations and Limited Duty Stations too, do to a back injury aboard the first ship in a a fall. I refused to surrender to the injury and fought to stay in service until July 1989 when a Navy Doctor, said I was done as a Sailor. He Discharged me from Portsmouth Naval Hospital, on a Honorable Discharge under Medical Conditions. I fought for a decade to stay and I finally lost my battle that July 24th, 1989.
My naval career was over now, but adversity and difficulties were not. My life has never taken the easy path, I wasn’t handed anything not a dime by anyone so I struggled. Along with my Naval career ending so did my marriage and the biggest loss of all was my two daughters. I returned home to Connecticut April 1990, a man looking to survive and rebuild. I had lost my career and my wife and children and I was searching for a place in life for me to survive.
It, would take me a while to get there though, for, when I came home in April of 1990 I faced my step-father dying of cancer, unknown to me of course. He was told he had it in January of 1990 and he would die on October 15th, 1990. During the same span of time my mother was given the same diagnosis of cancer too. She would die a year and one day, after her husband on 16 October 1991. My sister and i would bury them both together at a later date, in one grave, I paid my part to do so. So I know what it cost, at the time. Sadly, I lost both of the parents who raised me in a year and one day, when I needed them most, they were gone.
I would struggle on more too, and overcome a lot more too over time. from False Accussations, Jail Time for a crime I never committed, to overcoming it and surving more. By, the summer of 1993, I had turned to the Veteran’s Administration for help to survive and get a way to survive and advance myself. They provided well.
I was given help surviving,and the ability to go back to school at 37 years old. The Veteran’s administration gave me Tuition, and Supplemental Income to attend College, I would attend Classes for three Years and Graduate in 1997, with a 3.7 out of 4.0 Grade Point Average, and Awards from my college, Naugatuck Valley Community College. I survived. I went on to Manage Hotels and work in The Hospitality Industry for a bit. But, due to Naval Injuries and PTSD my working career ended at a young age, I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I was declared Unemployable, and given my Disability Pay from The Service on a monthly basis and Social Security disability also. I survived folks and still do today. You do what you must to survive and get by, life is important indeed.
I learned to write and wrote blogs and books and poems too. I never surrendered and never will, would you?
Recently, I had someone try to lecture me on a couple of things over the internet and I had to laugh at it all. For I have lived 64 years, been through hell and back, and someone is going to question my integrity? I think not, nor are they going to sit in front of me and tell me about Grit and Determination like they have tried to do. I survived based on Grit and Determination, I survived on persistance, I survived on Truth and I survive on honesty and still do today. I also survived serviving my country, and have five, yes count them, 5 Honorable DD-214’s to my name.
It beats the hell out of The President, who has two letters of 4f for bone spurs, doesnt it?
Don’t, come tell me, my integrity is bad, don’t come tell me, I don’t have grit and determination, or I don’t speak truths, I do each day, I live. I have faced many things in life and overcome them, until you can do the same!.