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How I Lost My Way - Part 1

My story of losing my way and returning

How I lost my way - Part 1

This is about myself. I've never written a story, let alone about myself. I grew up in Michigan in the 50's with my older brother and parents. Grew up with a strong German mother and a workaholic Irish father. You could say we were a religious family, God fearing Catholics. As I write this I can say I had a wonderful life growing up, in want of nothing and plenty of love.

At the age of nine was my first experience with my dark angel, as I was hospitalized for rheumatic fever. In the early 50's the Catholic hospitals had children's wards. There was this small boy, a black child with burns on his body. He came in and out due to his wounds. The sisters would pray at his bed and tell me to do the same for his soul. One night I awoke to seeing my first angel, a dark angel, as he took the boy from next to me. At this time I did not know this dark angel would find me again.

As I grew into a young man with high school years coming to a close, my parents sat me down for the "talk".Time to do one or the other, get a job or continue school at university. But I would have to pay my own way with loans and jobs. This coming from my Irish father. There was always the third option which scared my mother to no end, join the military. This was in the spring of 1970 and the war in Vietnam was dragging on, being played on every TV in America. The next day as I was driving I saw a recruitment office. I went home to tell them the news. I signedup for the US Army.

Off to Fort Knox basic and advanced training. Young bodies being taught the skills of war. I know not why but they picked myself and one other for the NCO school. An extra month of training and made a sergeant. I was so proud on my l week leave home before shipping over there. Vietnam.

What an exotic and strange land I was dropped into. The sounds, the smells and the sheer size of the airport.As we debarked the plane with our gear we saw the lines of green body bags lined up to return home. As I saw this I wanted to ask someone, anyone, what was a kid of 18 doing here, as we marched off to our future as warriors in this exotic land.

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Copyright © 2010-2020 Carl Riley (Fuzzy1954)- All rights reserved- This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, distributed, copied in part or its entirely without prior permission from the author.

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