Monthly Archives: December 2016

Getting schooled 

Well I didn’t lose my job. Only 9 months out of the Corps and late the first day I thought for sure I’d either lose my job or have to do physical training till the instructors got tired. 

As it worked out, I was told to just go back and find my seat. They hadn’t even started yet. 

After a few days they asked if I would be the class leader. This is both good and bad.  Good because of the responsibility, but bad also because of the responsibility. They have a tendency to hold the class leader responsible for the short comings of the class. 

As it was, I was going to need to be a few minutes late just about every day, as I had to drop my son off at daycare that was 10 minutes down the road. The issue was they didn’t open till the same time I needed to report. I said no as I didn’t feel it right the class leader would be late about every day. They agreed and made me the assistant class leader instead. 

The academy was 6 months long and went right through winter. Me and my ’90 5.0 Mustang made it, but it sure wasn’t easy. In the snow I put as many cinder blocks in the trunk I could fit. Cinder blocks because they were free and I was on a tight budget!  

My drive to and from Elliott City was about 50 minutes one way. These were long days. 

School days came to an end, I graduated, and hit the streets in Pasadena Maryland!  

Home is where…

So we made it to Erie in February of 1990. 

It’s funny how it happens. It’s the one place as a young person you set goals and make plans to leave, but for me I ended up back there. This was not a bad thing at all. I have an amazing family, which I’m very grateful for. They are one of the reasons I have made it to where I am today. 

I really had no plan for when I got out of the Corps. I just got out. I was 25 years old, with a 4 year old son and a very loose to no plan for my life and no job. 

I started out working for manpower, for a brief moment. It was horrible work and they took a good portion of my wages. I was taking forms of plastic pippets, placing them into a press to be push out of the form into a container. 

As it happened, my brother in law, who lived in the Pittsburgh area, had a landscape company and had a job opening. I could live with them and work, while I applied for law enforcement jobs on the east coast. So that’s what we did. It was a farm in the country and beautiful. 

I ended up applying to three departments; Fairfax, VA; Prince George’s County Police, MD; and Anne Arundel County Police, MD. I was on a first come first serve situation, what ever agency offered me a job first was going to be my new place of employment. 

PG County stopped the out of state hiring process due to cost. Anne Arundel County offered me a position and then Fairfax did. So Anne Arundel County was our new destination. The time, September 1990. I started in October. 

I have a brother and his family who used to live in Elliott City and they were willing to let us stay with them for the first year till I got settled. 

I remember my first day at the academy. I had done a trial run driving to the academy so I wouldn’t get lost and wouldn’t have any problems. As it turned out, the first day I took a wrong turn and ended up at the Bay bridge, about 20 minutes east of where I was supposed to be. 

I thought for sure I lost my job. 

Matters of the heart

I guess this is as good a time to share as any. 

My divorce wrecked me. I didn’t realize it then, but I surely see it now. The manner in which I treated women. Not outwardly, to the best of my understanding, but then I wasn’t on the receiving end either. 

I was manipulative in order to get what I wanted. And though some relationships lasted longer than others, when I was done, I was done. I never really allowed myself to be all in.  Commitment was not something I could do at all. As I look back now, there was probably some revenge aspect to my manner of being when it came to my relationship with women. I wasn’t physically abusive or verbally abusive at all, but I definitely didn’t treat women the way they deserved to be treated, with true love, caring, thoughtfulness, respect, and understanding. 

I needed to do quite a bit of healing.  

If I had to be totally honest, that healing didn’t happen until I totally focused on Jesus. 

I heard the word “stop” one night when I was walking my dog. And stop I did. I stopped dating and sought Jesus. The healing commenced. 

I’ll revisit this later, as there is much more between the lines to get to my dating stopping point. 


10-23 in police 10 code means arrived on scene, and that is exactly what happened after we fixed the Mustang and picked up Justin. We made a couple stops along the way to see some sights and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

I don’t remember the sequence of living arrangements.  I do remember living at two different locations.  One was an apartment in Escondido and the other an apartment in San Marcos.  I believe it was the apartment in San Marcos where I rent shared with my buddy and his wife, the one who owned the Mazda truck.

California and Camp Pendleton was tons of fun.  There is so much to see and do and it literally never seemed to sleep.  The beaches, Mexico, the Route 5 food trucks, and the food was great!  It’s the only time I remember being in a hot tub at Christmas drinking wine coolers.  Who’d a thunk, being I was from Erie PA right in the middle of the snow belt!

While I was there I went to SWAT training and was part of the only SWAT team the Marine Corps had at the time.  At least to the best of my knowledge.  It was really awesome.  The training was great and the perks even better.  Being part of the team, which was really more of a family was great. Lived, worked, played, together. We were partly responsible for the perimeter of the base, so we had to take the four wheel drive trucks out and check the fence line. This was extremely awesome as it is very mountainy, so the animals, the views were amazing! Pack a lunch and go out all day!  Four wheel drive fun included.  Seeing animals like bob cats and buffalo roaming wild was amazing!

There were a couple of occasions we came out of the mountains on the wrong side and ended up on an artillery range. Well, being that I’m here typing this, it all ended well!

As much as I enjoyed California, it was time to make a decision.  I needed to decide if I was going to re-enlist, or get out of the Marine Corps.  Being a single father in the Marine Corps was not easy. God really helped me through it all for sure.  I had orders to go on a float, a ship, for six months in the area of Norway.  These orders are highly sought after because of the area you frequent!  Being that I was going through my divorce at the time, my command allowed me to give my orders to one of my buddies.  Working in California, though fun, the hours were long. Day care was tough to find, and it was expensive.  So all that being said, it was time to go home, so home I went.

Erie PA, here we come!