“Out of my 20 years in the Army, 13 of those were overseas. I spent eight years in Germany, also years in Korea and Vietnam. I went to Vietnam twice. I was blessed that I was in the military police and not the infantry. I wasn’t involved in the shooting and never fired a round. I still saw death and the hundreds of bodies lying in fields and along the side of the road and that affected me. I learned to accept things as they are, especially when you can’t change them. When I first got to Vietnam, it was a struggle to accept that death could happen any minute, any second. It was in your mind all of the time. You may not wake up the next morning. After you are there for a while, you learn to live with it. Death became as common as walking. It taught me to appreciate living.
I grew up in Mobile. After I retired from Ft. Lewis in Washington, I moved to the Tacoma area in Washington state. I returned home to my roots in 1986 because my stepmother died. I realized it was more economical to live here, and I wanted to be close to my daughter. I am 84 years old. At some time, most people return home. I was born and raised in the church here and I carried it with me all of my life.
Serving in the military changed my life. It taught me discipline and to appreciate my fellow man and to look out for him. I got to see the world and how other people live. I learned from their culture and how they think. It gave me new experiences and a new outlook on life. What I learned from the military became a part of how I live today.”