I never knew how that my life journey would have so many twists and turns.
I have been through good times and bad, but they all add up to who I am today. I realize that some people would not want to have gone through some of the chapters of my life I have been through, but the end result has well been worth the challenge! I am happy and blessed to enjoy my life and to call this living! My childhood was filled with lots of trials. My dad was a cross-country truck driver so he would be gone for days or weeks at a time. He came home from one trip and found my biological mom in bed with another man. They got divorced and my sister and I lived with my biological mom. She told us that our dad didn’t love us and didn’t want to see us.
On a visit with my dad, when I was four, I met his new girlfriend and she was very nice to me. He got married when I was six. My biological mom was the first to get remarried when I was five. Her new husband was a truck driver and an alcoholic. He would physically abuse my sister and me and my biological mom would do nothing. When she wanted to go on a trip with her husband she would leave us with her brother who would also physically abuse me.
When I was five she left us with a neighbor who had three kids, two boys 18, 15 and a girl 17. While she was gone the oldest boy and the girl sexually abused me and the 15 year old abused my sister who was two. When I told my bio mom what had happened she didn’t believe me. Later on when I was seven she decided she couldn’t take my behavior anymore and told my dad she was sending me to Boys Town, a place for children with behavior problems, in Oklahoma.
My dad told her that they would take me, so they went through the courts and my dad got custody of me. After moving in with them they told me I could call his new wife by her name or mom. I started calling her mom right away. My life changed drastically and they got me help when I told them what had been happening to my sister and me. My dad told my bio moms that she needed to get my sister help and she ignored him.
At eight we moved to Texas, and my dad started working on Fort Hood at the lawn care office fixing their equipment and at an auto repair shop in Killeen. After about a year and a half we moved to Houston where he started working in the maintenance department at the Hilton Hotel. He worked his way up to be the supervisor and they moved him to the Airport Hilton to be the manager of the maintenance department. My parents moved closer to his new job and I stayed with my aunt to finish my sixth grade year.
When my parents found out that she was doing drugs I moved to the new home. A year later my dad took a job offer in Austin, he went to Austin while my mom and I stayed so I could finish sixth grade rather than going to a different school for one quarter. We spent the summer living in the hotel until we found a house. We stayed in that house for a year and we moved once again to the outskirts of Austin. My dad took another job offer at the historic Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin as the maintenance department manager. We moved one last time when my parents bought a home; they put it on two acres of land in Elgin 20 minutes outside Austin.
With all the different places that my bio mom lived and the four places that my dad lived, I went to thirteen different elementary schools. When we moved to Texas, the school said I was behind in math and science so they held me back in third grade. The next year at a different school they tested me because I was bored and not paying attention. My parents tried to get me put into the fourth grade class with the results of my test scores, but were told no. When I started sixth grade I was taking honor classes for math and science.
When we moved to Austin the school put me in a normal seventh grade math and science classes because they didn’t have honors classes for that grade. The math teacher gives everyone the end of year test to see where they are at. After scoring a 98% he asked the school to place me in the eighth grade pre-algebra class. At the start of my eighth grade year I was taking algebra for high school credit. By the end of my sophomore year I had completed my math requirements to graduate, but needed to have four core classes to participate in sports. So my junior year I took pre-calculus and calculus my senior year.
In seventh grade I started playing football, and running cross country and track. I started playing basketball my freshman year. I continued to play football until I inured my knee my sophomore year. I continued to run cross country winning several district meets as individual and team. I won several races in track from the 400 meter to the two mile. Being a distance runner, to me, my greatest accomplishment was our mile relay team.
We all ran between 52 and 56 second laps winning district and regional. I started taking college classes after the Army started the EArmyU program in 2002. I started out taking classes towards an associate in criminal justice degree through Central Texas College. With the schedule I had at work I didn’t have time to go to the education center to take proctored tests. So I switched to an associate in arts and sciences through Pierce College, because everything was online and I could do it at home after my kids went to bed. I wasn’t making much progress because of deployments and going to military schools, I have completed 19.
hours in eight years. I am hoping with Ashford I can complete my degree within the six years I have left in the Army. Five days before my high school graduation I raised my right hand and signed on the dotted line to join the Army. I continued to work through the summer and left for basic training in September 1996.
I went to Fort Jackson, SC for ten weeks to complete new Soldier processing and basic training. I completed Signal Support Systems Specialist training at Fort Gordon, GA. I then moved to Fort Lewis, WA where I was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. After being there for a year and a half I met a girl, we got engaged and I went to Korea for a year. After seven months of being in Korea I took my mid-tour leave and we got married. I returned to Korea to complete my year.
After four months I returned to Fort Lewis, WA and found my new wife living with someone else. I filed for divorce and started helping out a friend that had just had surgery on her knee. Six months later we got married and I adopted her two kids and we had two of our own. This past July we have been married for ten years.
We have been moved to Hanau, Germany and then to Fort Knox, KY by the military. We are very happy with our family and how we fit together. One of my main reasons for getting my college education is so that I am not telling my kids “do as I say, not as I do”. It is a lot easier to tell them that they need an education to succeed.
My oldest two understand that part of the reason I can’t get promoted is because I don’t have a college education. So by getting my education I am showing them that it can be done, regardless of the situation. I plan on retiring from the Army in about six years, and if I don’t have a college education I could end up working for some 25 year old kids that does. My goal is to earn my bachelor in business information systems and get a job working for a company running the IT department.
I feel that I contribute to the community and world everyday by being a Soldier. I am expected to leave my family and be anywhere in the world in support of our nations freedom or helping another country, like Haiti, in their time of need. I have thought about becoming a Department of Defense (DOD) Civilian after I retire, working for the military as a civilian. I would like to work in the Combat Service Support Automation Management Office (CSSAMO) fixing the same computer systems I currently use every day. I understand how Levinson’s Life Structures Theory applies to most of my life! According to Levinson “A life structure includes all the roles and relationships that a person has throughout life. ” (Witt G.
, & Mossler, R. 2010). I changed roles many times, from son to Army Soldier, husband, to divorcee, back to husband, father, and now a student. I also believe that the Circular Rule explained in the LifeLaunch text, “Each chapter itself has a beginning and an end, and a transition to the next chapter” (Hudson & McLean, ? 2006, p. 34) describes the many stages of my life. Each change or transition closed old chapters and opened new ones!I began life as a student learning from my parents as teachers.
I went on as a student in school. I am currently a student in college at the age of thirty-three, fulfilling the lifelong dream of acquiring a degree. I have few regrets as I look back over my life. Tait Trussell, a ”Saturday Evening Post” contributor, had a wonderful thing to say in an article I recently read, “Age doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese” (Trussell, 2007)! I do not believe that learning ever stops, so, my best explanation would be that my beginnings mirror my endings! My future you might ask? I will be a student of life for life!
M. , ; McLean, P. D. (2006). LifeLaunch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of your Life (4th ed.
) (Donna Bushnell, Ed. ). Santa Barbara, CA: The Hudson Institute Press. (Original work published 1995)Trussell, T. (2007, Jul/?Aug).
Defining a Senior. The Saturday Evening Post, 279(4), 1. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://www. britannica. com/bps/additionalcontent/18/25773852/DEFINING-A-SENIORWitt G.
A. , ; Mossler, R. A. (2010). Adult Development and Life Assessment. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/4