A little over 18 years ago I began my journey with the United States Marine Corps; however, I want to start this story with some background. I grew up with my mom. For the most part my dad wasn't a part of my life- he was busy curing his demons with alcohol. For the sake of brevity I had a somewhat tumultuous childhood. I played soccer, baseball, football, and basketball during different parts of my youth. As I got older I became a bit of a knucklehead. I didn't dream big, or even little if I'm being honest. I attempted culinary school because I liked cooking. But I lasted less than a week at school because the work scared me, and I missed my girlfriend. Oddly enough it was the ending of my relationship with the same girl that hurled me towards the military.
I entered the Delayed Entry Program in October 2003 when I was twenty-years old. I joined Third Battalion in Parris Island, SC in June 2004. After graduation from boot camp I went to Marine Combat Training in North Carolina. I would then go to Naval Air Station Pensacola to begin my Military Occupational Specialty training to be a Crew Chief. Unfortunately, the Navy surgeon, who performed our flight physicals, didn't like my drug waiver for repeated cannabis use. He made me get a psych evaluation to make sure I wasn't dependent. I got sent to two-week outpatient rehab, but not for cannabis. Instead it was for alcohol. Their reasoning was because of my father's history of drinking- it was a question on the prescreening for my drug dependency evaluation. So, because I drank while over the age of 21, they told me I may be genetically predisposed to alcoholism. Just like that I was out of Crew Chief school. They shipped off to Ft. Sill, OK to be a Fire Direction Controlman; and in March 2005 I checked into 1st Battalion 11th Marines on Camp Pendleton, CA. While with 1/11 I deployed to Iraq in June 2007 to April 2008. My life became chaotic during the last four months of my deployment and carried on for a little over a year after my return home. Turns out, like so many other service members, my wife was cheating on me. In hind sight I don't know why I thought the girl who broke off our previous engagement would be smart to marry.
I'm going to end part one here. I will share the second part of my military journey in the next go around. I do want to touch on why I joined this site and what I think I can share. Writing has always interested me. From my childhood I can remember getting composition books and telling myself I was going to write. It never happened. Maybe I didn't have the imagination necessary. Maybe I didn't have anyone to foster my development with writing. Either way, I feel like I have another chance to do something I've wanted to do since I was young. The other reason I joined is because of the purpose of this site. I have gone through lots of work mentally, emotionally, and spiritually over the past two years. I believe my experiences can help others who may be struggling to find a way to deal with the things their military endeavors brought them, as well as, the struggles of just existing as a human. I look forward to sharing these things and hopefully lending a hand wherever I can. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes which comes from the thirteenth century poet Rumi.
"You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop."