This is how I think about my childhood to adulthood, the changes that brought me to my current
situation, and what I have got to do to change now and upon my release.
For years after graduating from high school (I graduated at the age of 16), I worked various jobs,
from a fry cook to a janitor. It is not as if I was dumb; I graduated with A’s and one B for a 3.75
GPA. I just did not know what I wanted to do in life at the time. Then at the age of 20, I joined
the U.S. Navy.
After completing boot camp, I was trained in radar and sonar and assigned to the Pacific Fleet.
Without going into a lot of details, I was tested multiple times over a three year period, each time
being upgraded in rank and pay until I finished my officers’ training. Once I had completed the
required courses, I was assigned to an Ohio Class Trident Nuclear Submarine stationed out of
Groton, Connecticut. After serving 8 years I was honorably discharged in 1986, retiring as a
The changes from high school to various jobs to joining the Navy (which included changes in
what I wore, from school clothes to work clothes to a Navy Uniform), each brought a new
understanding of life from being a teenager to becoming a man.
Since becoming a civilian, I have fathered two children and adopted one. Talk about change!
Fatherhood is a responsibility that can drive you crazy and make you proud, all at the same time.
This is something I would not change, for children are a gift from GOD and a part of your life
that is the greatest of rewards.
Throughout the stages of my life I have been to many places, done fun and scary things, and seen
wonderful and not-so-wonderful events. The most painful of them was when I went to prison. I
lost not only my personal possessions, but family, friends, and loved ones – most of all my
Living in the prison system for any period of time, you can and in ways do become
institutionalized. So upon release, it can be hard to adjust to being a free person. With the time I
have done and when I will be released, I am facing a change that is in some ways scary but also
anticipated. There are many choices I need to make; one is to realize I am no longer incarcerated.
Another is to become reconnected or reacquainted with family, friends, and loved ones, to face
the pain I’ve caused them and others. I will be proving not only to myself but to those I hurt that
I am not that person who is going to do the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
It’s time for me to wise up, face my wrongs, and become the person I could have, should have,
and can be. It’s time to show that I am a person who is valued and can make a difference, who
can use wisdom, which means to use knowledge, good judgment, understanding, and insight. I
need to treat others with the respect they deserve, taking full responsibility for my deeds and
actions, living a life making good choices and not the one of incarceration.