A Little About Me:

I was born the seventh child, the sixth of nine boys,in the small country town of Brown City in the great state of Michigan on May 17th, 1951. My father George and mother Mary, both of German heritage, worked the small dairy farm they bought from my grandfather on my father's side of the family. My childhood was spent on this farm. The natural lifestyle of country living, mixed with a strong Catholic background, set the basis of my childhood values and morals.

It's those values and morals that cause me to live a life of hell: "Thou shall not kill;" "Love thy neighbor as thyself;" Always be strong, loving, and caring.

I grew up to the reality, somewhere between 1970 and 1971, that all my childhood values and morals were false. Thou can kill; thy neighbor can kill or be killed; and fear, hate, and who gives a shit were some of my new values and morals. I am now a ball of anxiety bouncing between two worlds and two sets of values and morals.

I joined the Army at the age of 17 on Jan 29, 1969. I had basic training at Fort Knox and advanced individual training (AIT) at Fort Leonard Wood. I went to Germany for a year after AIT, then was levied to Vietnam. I in no way wanted to go to Vietnam; I had a brother in the V.A. hospital, who was and still is 100% disabled because of his experiences in Vietnam. A visit with him in the hospital helped support the feeling of not wanting to go. I cashed in all my savings bonds, as my leave came to an end, and set out for Texas A.W.O.L.

Halfway to Texas, I was robbed of all my belongings and forced to turn to my mother for help. My mother thought that it would be in my best interest to return to the service of our country. A brief two weeks of jungle training in a Fort near Seattle, and I was ready for war.

I was assigned to the 511 Engr. Co. Born a coward, I volunteered to be a gunner on a gun truck, a high risk job that after six months would earn a bronze star; that was my way of hiding my cowardliness.

Ours was the most awsome gun truck in all of I Corps, and it was named "Rock and his Stones." I was wounded, in my seventh month as a gunner, and left for dead by my C.O. I refused to return to the field with that commander and was court-martialled for my cowardliness, sentenced to four weeks of hard labor, busted from E4 to E1, and fined $640. I was transferred to a new company upon my release from L.B.J.

A few weeks after my arrival, I volunteered to be a proof truck driver, another high risk job that after three months would earn a bronze star.

After four months of proving the roads to be clear of mines, it was time to go home. I was awarded only one medal in Vietnam--a Purple Heart-- which was stolen by a customs agent, as I was strapped to a stretcher. They can't give a coward a bronze star.