In a nutshell…

home-of-the-combat-medic-corpsman-and-pararescue_mousepad_LOGO-MPAD-1_larger_1378527981_largeI enlisted in the United States Army after completely fucking up my first year at college. I barely graduated H.S.. My senior year of High School I took my ACT test (college placement exam) at a local H.S.. I was seated, by the proctor across from an awkward looking sophmore female. Before the exam began we were warned of the consequences of cheating. We were also warned that proctors would be walking around looking for cheaters during the exam. I introduced myself to the awkward sophmore who informed me this was her second attempt to score a perfect score on her exam. She had scored a 30 as a freshman (35 was a perfect score). With my grades being below standard to participate in athletics during H.S… I saw this as an opportunity to advance myself. I copied every answer from her at the risk of being caught. (We) scored a 27 on that ACT. A score that got me accepted into Western Illinois University. My father, with his ultimate wisdom, told me he would pay for ONE year of college for me. We would take my collegiate career on a year to year basis. He couldn’t promise how much he could cover financially, but he would never leave me uninformed. However, If I fucked it up… I was on my own from that point.

I entered basic training at Ft. Sill Oklahoma (home of the artillery) during the summer of 1989. Having wrestled my 4 years at highschool, albeit ineligible to compete due to my grades, gave me an edge that most others didn’t have. I loved to run. Running, as it turned out, was the foundation of becoming a soldier. I flew through basic as a stand out. I mastered the rifle qualification required to be a soldier… due to an obsession of learning fighting skills I had a child. I was normally the smallest kid in my class. In my experience … small kids get picked on. Girls thought I was “cute”.. “adorable”.. etc.. but my lack of physical prowess amongst my male contemporaries weighed heavy on me.. Especially since bigger kids had no problem physically dominating me in fights throughout my childhood. I had a chip on my shoulder… and had something to prove. I learned early that normally the first one to throw a punch controls the fight. This theory helped shaped the soldier I would become. “Soldiering”.. as it turned out.. was something I could excel at.

After basic, I went on to Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio Tx. for a 10 week school. Graduates of the school went on to become “combat medics”. Failures became 11B’s … Infantrymen aka Grunts. My father was a medic in the Air Force. As a young man I was driven, STARVING, for the approval of my father. Failure wasn’t an option for me…

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