After my parents married, my father followed his father by working at Homestead, while my other was a stay at home mom. We lived on a hillside over the fairgrounds in Deadwood on Railroad Avenue. My father’s parents lived next door to us. Due to the fear of landslides, the city of Deadwood forced my grandparents and us to move off the hillside. As of 2008, the houses were still on the hillside, granted they slid downhill slightly. It is amazing how tiny the houses are, I would say no more than 400 to 500 square feet, and there were 5 of us who lived in the house.
When was about four years of age, we left the Black Hills and moved to a small mining town in Colorado called Creed. It is here member being left handed and having to learn to do things differently. I guess I go against the grain with handedness, according to our studies it suggests it is linked by a genetic basis. (Linked & Kerugma, 2005) No one else in the family has been left handed, and even today I am still the only one. Still do things different from left or right handed people because I had to learn my own way.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
I started school while living here; we had a one room school house, and remember we would follow the creek line down to school and back up the creek line to get home. I remember having a skunk get in the rage, our house was a bi-level with the laundry room in the garage/ basement. This is when I learned the phrase “two toned highway cat, with a fluid drive. ” We moved from Creed sometime after my first grade of school to Durango, Colorado. 3 In Durango, we lived in a trailer park, my father worked in various mines, some of which he would stay gone during the week and only come home on the weekends.
It was not a large trailer park, so life was like living on Railroad Avenue again. As young boys we would get into lots of trouble, and when we did, if a neighbor seen us, they would start the beatings. I guess one would say it was very hard to get away with much when everyone helped to raise you. I do have quite a few memories from this time period of my life. I was riding my bicycle on the gravel road in the trailer park when was hit by a car, broke my right leg. I guess was quite the whiner when I was younger, my mother figured was just whining again.
The next day, she took to the neighbors house, he was an x-ray technician and his wife worked somewhere in the hospital. They told my mom to take me to the doctor, where she realized was not crying wolf this time. Long story short, she still feels bad bout it today, and I guess after that toughened up quite a bit because I never cried wolf again. All of my whining could be explained as a way coping with my feelings, emotions and the stress of my father having to be gone so much. (Craig & Dunn, 2010) We had a lady who lived in the trailer park who sold Avon; she did not like children as I remember it.
She was always yelling at us, telling us not to do this and not to do that; I remember she got a new Ford Bronco, she was screaming at us to stay away, don’t scratch the paint, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, we went down to the river and caught a bunch of water snakes. Needless to say, people didn’t lock vehicles back then and we also found out she didn’t like snakes. She climbed in the Bronco, a few seconds later out she came, screaming, jumping frantically and just scared to death; well us three boys were rolling on the ground laughing.
Payback was sweet revenge for us boys, at least it was until we got home, could not have been more than eight years old and I still remember my mom whipping us with the belt. At this point in my life, I would say this was “hostile aggression”, directed towards the Avon lady. (Craig& WHY AM, WHO I AM 4 Dunn 201 0) Disciplining back then by my parents involved something, anything they had in their hands. Most of the time it was a belt and you knew you were in serious trouble if my mother told you ‘Xviii till your father gets home! Nothing like being punished twice for the same crime, I think the worst part for me was the waiting for my father to get home. My father didn’t do much talking when was in trouble, when he did talk he would either be telling me it will only get worse if I run and to “stop crying”. My parents used the “Authoritarian Style” of parenting most of my life. (Craig & Dunn, 2010) I also remember my older brother Kevin, running away or at least that is what t was called back then. He packed a small suitcase, said his goodbyes and went and stood along the street for several hours, after it got dark, my mother went out and got him.
From there, we moved to Telluride, Colorado, once again my father worked in the local gold mine and my mother stayed at home. It was the ass’s, the Vietnam War was mostly over, free love was in the air and Telluride was the place for “hippies. ” We lived on the hill opposite of the ski slope in housing owned by the mine, so once again, us boys were raised and disciplined by the neighborhood. Living in Telluride was fun from hat I remember, am sure I had friends previous to this, but this is the first place I remember having a friend.
Tad lived with his mother, I don’t know where his father was, but his mother was nice and she was a hippie. She always wore tie dye clothes and smoked funny smelling stuff, which I found out later to be marijuana. They lived in a cool log cabin with a loft, always thought it had a fireman’s pole, come to find out it was a stripped pole, guess it explains some of the things I used to see go on in their house. Maybe I found Tad as a friend because he came from a different environment, and I as different because had to wear big thick glasses.
I guess one could say both of us had low “self-esteem”. (Craig & Dunn, 2010) It seemed we did more family oriented events while living here. I remember going backpacking, WHY I AM, WHO I AM 5 camping, fishing, and hunting, all as a family. We also did a lot of site seeing and traveling while living there, the Rocky Mountains are beautiful and I still have lots of wonderful memories of them. From there we moved to Southern California to a small town called Eagle Mountain. Eagle Mountain was a mining town about ten miles off of I-ID, about halfway between Indo and
Blithe. The entire town was owned by Kaiser Steel Corporation, it was a large iron mine, and all the residents either worked for the mine or the school. This was actually the first place where we had three different schools, an elementary’, middle and high school. We lived out there from the time I was in the fifth grade till the summer after I finished the ninth grade. The desert is just as beautiful as the mountains, at least in my eyes. This is the point when started to develop my “Social Cognition”.
When we first lived there, we lived on 420 Sage, it was located in a part of the town where the regular workers ivied, it was not located far from the mine and the upper management lived about a mile from us and in a lot nicer houses. While living on 420 Sage, we were the first people to get a color television and a microwave. The first Christmas we lived there, my parents bought everyone dirt bikes. This is when I realized my love for riding motorcycles. Southern California was the first place I remember people being different. In Eagle Mountain, we had what seemed like every race, and ethnic origin known to man.
Everyone got along we went to many different company outings and learned about the different cultures. As a community, the way remember it, we were just that, a community. During an away sporting event, I learned about racism, we went to a mostly black school for wrestling, needless to say, they lost and we were escorted out of town by the police. (Craig & Dunn, 201 0) The worst things we did as kids were bringing home wild animals. I will never forget the time the roadrunner got loose in the house, my mother was not very happy about that.
This is when my WHY I AM, WHO AM 6 parents decided to ask us to help develop a new set of rules for the house and changed to the “authoritative” style of discipline. (Craig & Dunn, 201 0) As y father moved up in seniority at the mine, we moved into a nicer home, all of our neighbors were higher ups in the mine and people had nicer cars. It was during this move I learned about the classes of society. My parents still had the same friends, however the friendships I had slowly changed, and I don’t think it was because we were in a different class, think it was because it was a long way to go to see them.
When my parents told me I had to check in every hour, it limited how far I could travel to hang out, therefore changing who I considered friends. Once the mine closed, we moved back to the Black Hills. We moved to an Old house in Whitehead, my fathers stepped had actually lived in it prior to him marrying my grandmother. Sutures High School was the largest school had ever been too; it was so large I never did find one of my classrooms. School wasn’t bad; I helped my grandparents out whenever I could by mow the lawn, shovel the walk and driveway etc.
Helping my grandparents was always my decision, I guess it was the way I was raised, help those who need it. During the summer, my younger brother and took jobs working for the city cleaning up the park, mowing and policing up trash. This was all good until we were told to go locate a rattlesnake that had been become a pest in one of the parks. Catching the snake was easy, we had done this several times in California, however, bringing the dead six foot rattler home to show mom was the big mistake. This would be the last time my parents beat my butt, I finally learned, don’t mess with the parents.
That summer, my father found a job in North Dakota working for the Great Plains Gasification Plant, so we packed up again and moved. It was the summer of my seventeenth birthday, things were looking up, we had moved to a little own, 31 8 residents according to the sign, I guess we made it 322 because my brother had WHY I AM, WHO AM 7 joined the Army and left home. My younger brother and had made friends, the parents were more relaxed with us, and had inherited my older brother’s car. One could say, my parents changed their parenting style again, this time it was more of the “parental monitoring” style. Craig & Dunn, 2010) On my birthday I was helping my father work on an old Data’s pickup, when he told me to get a coffee can of gas and use it to clean off the engine so we could change the head gasket. Long Story short, pickup caught fire, burned down he garage, and the motorcycles in it. For a while it was ugly in the house, eventually had talked my father into taking me pheasant hunting, once again things did not go well, we rolled the Jeep in a ditch, didn’t hurt the jeep; however it continued to put a strain on the relationship between my father and l.
My mother and I on the other hand had a pretty good relationship, she had taken a job in the school library, keep in mind we had K-12 in one building. Coming from other states, had enough credits to graduate, however at the time North Dakota required a person go to 12 years of school, so no early graduation for me. Moving as often as we did, kind of kept my early love life at a zero, up to this point I had crushes on girls, but never an actual girlfriend. As a junior, I found my first real girlfriend, bad part was, she baby sat for the woman my mother worked with in the library.
For the most part my junior and senior years of high school were pretty easy and a lot of fun. Stayed out of trouble, went to parties, alcohol was consumed, but I never did drugs. The most important part was I respected my parents rules. With graduation around the corner, I had to make a decision what to do with my life, as with most teenagers, was undecided. My older brother had come home on leave from the military’ and had absolutely nothing good to say about it, so very quickly I had ruled it Out. Graduation came and Went, along with it came new rules for me.
If I was to stay at home was going to have to find a job, guess what, not many jobs in a town of 300 people. I started WHY AM, WHO I AM 8 weighing my options, military or Job Corps. Guess this is when I really formed my own identity, and I guess I fell into Erosion’s Theory of Development. At this point in my life, I had to redefine myself, my priorities and what would eventually become my place in the world. Craig & Dunn, 201 0) In October of 1 985 1 went to Job Corps. Job Corps was scary to me; I didn’t know most people who went to Job Corps were sent there by the court system. Ad no street smarts, had never really been around other races that segregated themselves from others, it was scary. What I thought I knew Of other ethnicities went out the window; the people here all seemed to have something to prove. Settled down, took up the trade of Machinist, got to know the people in my dorm and classes, things eventually went very well for me. Excelled at machining, learned how to use the computer operated ailing machine and was even selected to make a great big “beehive” out of aluminum for the state police.
I learned a lot while I was in Job Corps, I learned how to read people, learned who to stay away from, learned friendship in that environment was based on “what can you do for me? ” upon leaving Job Corps, I moved to Carson City, Nevada where I took a job working for Weaver Brothers. We made dry sump oil pumps for race cars, and the person I was supposed to work with was the boss’s son. Started learning even more about how the world worked and how the boss’s son did not work. With the two Of us responsible for a certain amount Of output on a weekly basis, and never meeting this goal was not good.
I had to clock in and out daily, where he did not, he came in when he wanted and left when he wanted. I only lasted about one year working there; the politics of working for a family run business and not being a family member were just too much for me to take. I needed to belong to something and the Weaver family just was not it. Mason’s hierarchy of needs help me make my decision to leave this job. (Craig & Dunn, 2010) WHY I AM, WHO AM 9 With nowhere else to go, I went back home to the parents’ house.
They had moved to Nevada while I was in Job Corps so at least I didn’t have far to move. Going home was rough, I didn’t know anyone in town, my little brother was a senior in high school and he was always in trouble so my parent’s rules were tapered to his discipline issues. The old saying of “you can never go home,” is a very true statement. Living under my parent’s roof, by their rules was very painful, I had experienced freedom, had spent a year in Job Corps and a year of living on my own had only reinforced my perception that I knew everything there was to know about being an adult.
My grandfather on my father’s side of the family had his second heart attack in about three months, my grandmother had never learned how to drive and having been close to my grandparents, I decided to go back to the Black Hills to help them out. My grandfathers health went up and down; Grandma was stressed out, especially with a “know it all” kid in the house. Stayed there for about a year, bouncing back and forth between the both sets of grandparents. I thought it was rough living with my parents; imagine living with your parents’ parents. To to see firsthand where my parents got their way, or style of parenting. It was not all bad living with my grandparents, I learned a lot from them, and I also learned a lot of what did not want from them. After my grandfathers health got better, I decided I needed to find my own way again, so I decided to talk to an Army recruiter. This decision took me back to Erosion’s Theory of Development, by redefining myself and setting new goals. My older brother was still in the Army, and my little brother had signed up and was waiting to start basic training.
With both of my grandfather’s having served in World War II, one in the Army and the other in the Navy, and my father having revered during the Cuban Missile Crisis, I figured should man up and do my part also. Besides, nothing could be as strict as living with grandparents. Decided to join the WHY AM, WHO I AM 10 Army as a Cavalry Scout, it looked like a lot of fun on the video, I was able to choose my first duty station, and I was going to Kentucky for training. I thought I knew what I was in for, but little did I know.
Fort Knox, Kentucky, winter time, no hair to keep my head warm, and I was living by even more strict rules than had been at my parents and grandparents houses. I figured if I could make it in the places I had been before, I could make it here. I was the oldest in my basic training platoon, which gave me a few more privileges, especially when it came to the long road marches, someone had to drive the truck and since was over 21, had the privilege of driving my drill sergeants around.
I learned how teamwork was developed and worked while I was in basic training, I also learned no matter where life takes an individual, there will always be people who will feed on the weak and never do their part. My first duty station choice was changed for me while I was in basic training; it went from going close to home, Fort Carson, Colorado, to being very far away room home, Germany. The idea of going to Germany wasn’t all that bad, I had taken two years of German while in high school, was used to being away from my parents, and my grandparents were doing well so I was excited to go.
Upon arriving in Germany, I was informed was going to Bad Herself, I remembered my Drill Sergeant telling us, you don t want to go anywhere with the word “Bad” in the name. I arrived to Bad Herself on a Friday, assigned to Troop, and was introduced to my new platoon. Was taken to get my gear, and was given the weekend to get my wall locker and bunk straight by Monday. Monday morning came, and it was ugly, thought basic training was bad. I had learned over the weekend I was the only “private” in the platoon, everyone else was in the rank of “specialist” or higher.
Everyone was telling me what to do; I had NCO thrashing my bunk and wall locker and told to fix it prior to APT. Did what I could, obviously it wasn’t enough, WHY I AM, WHO I AM 11 what I had done was destroyed again. Long story short it took me a week to learn that I lived out of my laundry bag and did not touch my wall locker. Eventually things settled down, we got some more new people in, and finally he heat was off of me and directed at the new guys. I was assigned to be the Platoon Sergeants driver, he taught me a lot, kept me out of trouble, and helped me develop what are now my work ethics. As soon promoted to E-2, still a “private”, but I was moving up the chain. This was done in front of the whole unit, damn was I proud of myself. A few days later, once again I was called to the front of the unit, thought was getting promoted again, little did I know that was not the case. My First Sergeant had me stand in front of the unit and tell them when the last time was I had contact with anyone in the United States. Well was having too much “fun,” to have called anyone in the states and let them know I was alright. My mother, having three boys in the Army, knew to contact the Red Cross to see if I could be located.
Well I found out I had embarrassed my entire chain of command and had also worried my parents. Since I could not find the time to call or write home, my First Sergeant decided he would ensure I had the time. Every day for a month, after evening chow, would use his office to write a letter home. The price for him looking out for me and allowing me to use his off was had to clean it every night when I got done. Once I was done with the First Sergeant, I had to pay my dues for embarrassing the platoon. This was a very valuable learning experience for me, I learned what it meant when I heard the phrase “Sit rolls downhill. Having been assigned to the 1 lath Armored Cavalry Regiment (CAR), during the Cold War was both scary and rewarding. The fear of the Russians and East Germans coming across the border was terrifying; we were constantly told we were nothing more than a speed bump for them. We were told the scouts had about 11 to 15 seconds to live if war was declared, that isn’t WHY I AM, WHO I AM 12 even enough time to kiss your ass good bye. Thankfully, with the collapse of the “Berlin Wall” in November of 1 989 things settled down in Germany.
In the spring of 1 990, I was reassigned to Fort Carson, I couldn’t wait to go home, I had a German girlfriend for most of the time I was in Germany, and I knew I would miss her, but the excitement of being back in the United States outweighed her. At Fort Carson, I was assigned to 217 Cavalry, life was great. My mouth got me into trouble; I ended up working in the S-3 shop as the squadron training clerk. Computers back then are nothing like they are today, it was huge, the printer was huge, the paper was wide, and I was new to the computer thing.
A few months after I met my wife in Colorado Springs, the first Iraq War broke out, and my unit was sent to Fort Hood to train the Guard and Reserve to go to war. We received orders to go to Iraq, and were given ;vow weeks of leave before we were to deploy. The wife and I got hitched, so she would have health care and money while I was deployed, then the war ended and we did not go. Nine months after the wedding our daughter was born and six months later I went back to Germany. I didn’t eave “command sponsorship,” so the wife and baby had to wait to go to Germany, so they traveled between our parents.
Till the wife arrived, I decided to be a barracks rat. The wife finally arrived, and I went to PLED TV days later, she was not a happy camper. The unit closed and we were reassigned to Carcinogens. Shortly after settling in, the wife gave birth to our son, things were still going great. I loved the location, we spent a lot of time on the German economy, and my new assignment was great. My son wasn’t four months old we deployed to Macedonia for six months. Once again, the fife was not a happy camper; she was tired of raising children on her own.
I returned from deployment to find out things were only going well in my mind and the unit was ramping up to go to Spooks. I reenlisted to go to the states to get out of the follow on deployment and hopefully fix my marriage. WHY I 13 Fort Hood brought on the same stuff we had been experiencing in Germany. Field problem after field problem, deploy to ANT in California, get ready for Operation Bright Star in Egypt, get ready for JET-6 missions, the only thing that ended was the marriage. We both decided it wasn’t worth the instant fighting. She moved back home with her parents, and I moved on with my career in the military.
I left Fort Hood to be a Drill Sergeant at Fort Knox, the wife and I remained good friends, even discussed getting back together, however being a Drill Sergeant left no time for a family. When my three years as a Drill were up, I was assigned to go back to Fort Carson. The wife and I talked again about getting back together, however this IS when the second Iraq War was about to break out. We were told we were going to Iraq during our deployment to ANT; I spent my time preparing my platoon for plowmen. As we arrived in Kuwait, we did our final preparations, welcomed a new platoon leader and crossed the beer into Iraq.
There is nothing like leading 17 other soldiers into combat. I knew my soldiers well, other than the new platoon leader, we were close. I took six gun trucks up the “Highway of Death”, through Baghdad to Samara. We were sitting outside of Samara, in a coil, when we received gun fire. ‘twats not a lot, we couldn’t really tell where exactly it was coming from, however everyone took cover. Once it was over, took a head count, I kept coming up with 17. Numbers didn’t match; finally realized it was the new platoon leader that was missing. We found him under a truck, crying.
The soldiers instantly lost all respect for him. He gave several gun ho speeches about how we were going to kick ass, well I guess not everyone is cut out for combat. After 15 months of combat, being blown up, dislocating a shoulder, and finally the years of training had been tested and I excelled at it. We experienced countless ambushes, Dies, and mortar fire from the enemy. We encountered women and children shooting at us as well as having to clear everything from hospitals to WHY AM, WHO I AM 4 chicken processing plants to ensure the enemy was holed up somewhere ready to spring an ambush.
Our time in combat came to an end, I had a high turnover of platoon leaders, 5 of them in 16 months, but we succeeded in our mission. I loved combat, was sad to leave, I am proud to say brought every one of my soldiers home with all of their pieces. Upon returning to the states came physical training, the pain in my back was worse, my shoulder hurt constantly, so to the Army doctors went. In the end, I had hairline fractures in my back from the ‘DE, my shoulder required extensive surgery to put it jack together. Due to my limited abilities, the Army sent me to Equal Opportunity School in Florida, with a follow on assignment back to Fort Knox.
With this assignment, I knew my military career as a Scout was over, the long deployments were over, so the wife and I remarried in 2004. It was great having our family back together again. My children have grown to be young adults; we had our hiccup, as any family does. My daughter got pregnant in high school, delivering my granddaddy in June 2009; she took her baby to school with her during her senior year and graduated with her class. My randy has spent her life living in our house, the young man who got her pregnant bailed as soon as he found out it was going to be a girl.
My daughter is going to school to be a beautician, so I get to spend a lot of time with my granddaughter. Am getting to experience all of the things I missed with my own children growing up. My son is 18, he has a job, and he is a straight “A” student and has turned out to BEA fine young man. My wife was finally able to finish her nursing degree and works in a local hospital. Myself, I retired from the military after 21 years and 5 days of service. I have returned o college with the hopes of deciding on a second career once I grow up. Understand the different theories of development, however, what I remember of younger years probably come from stories my parents have repeated over the years. There were places in WHY I AM, WHO AM 15 my story where could say “yes” fit into this or that; however don’t feel that fit into the generalization of most of the book. Having grown up in small mining communities and then joining the military my life has not been what the book deems as general. I also understand people may or may not fit into any or just one theory presented within the text.