Oct 02

Soldier

Grandpa Charlie

Grandpa Charlie

Growing up I wanted to be a soldier.  It is the only thing I wanted to be, besides Indiana Jones.  In a toss up between Indiana Jones and Rambo, the latter won out in my mind as the job of choice.  I  had some ancestors fight for the Union in the Civil War.  One of which was captured and held for nine months in the infamous Andersonville Prison Camp, run by the Confederates.  My grandfathers were in the Army during WWII.

Grandpa Eustace Mike

Grandpa Eustace

 

Grandpa Bill

Grandpa Bill

 

I grew up as an Air Force Brat (a kid with a parent in the AF).  My father was drafted in 1968, and he decided to join the AF before his number came up.  He married my mom and 9 months later I was born.

Dave and Gail Mike

Dave and Gail Mike

I got to travel and see lots of places and experience many things.  I lived in many several states and two other countries.  Faith was very important to my parents, we spent a lot of time at a Baptist church in South Carolina for most of the 70’s.  I might have not been paying attention to the true message there, so I felt most of the time that God was watching my every move.  If I stepped out of line, ZAP!  Lightning strike.  “Don’t smoke, drink or chew, or hang out with girls that do.”

I was surrounded by military people my entire childhood.  I met so many interesting people with all their stories of things and places you only read about in books.  I met Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, former POW Colonel Bobby R. Bagley, and even a WWII German Ace Fighter Pilot, Adolf Galland.  I was awestruck and mesmerized by all things military.

During my Freshman and Sophomore year of high school, I joined the Marine Corps JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps).  I learned how to be a miniature Marine.  I even spent a week at Marine Basic Training Parris Island, SC and a week at Marine Basic Infantry School, Camp Pendelton, CA, during the summer breaks.  Highly motivated, truly dedicated, Sir!

Junior Marine

Junior Marine

I moved to Germany before my Junior year started and so my last two years of high school I was in the Air Force JROTC program.  I got to ride in a helicopter, fly in a refueler, and fly a jet simulator.  Cool stuff but, I had my heart set on joining the Army.  I wanted to be an Airborne Scout.  And so at 17 years old, I had my parents sign me in because you had to be 18 to sign up on your own.  I was ready to leave home, be a man, and a soldier!

During my Senior year, some changes were going on.  I started to become enamored with the New Wave and Goth scene.  This did not set well with my dad and also with my JROTC teachers who were constantly reminding me that “that hairdo” was not in regulation.

Unauthorized Hair

Unauthorized Hair

I was starting to develop an underlying rebellion.  It was subtle but evident.  I was beginning to make poor choices and also to bend and break the rules and training my parents were trying so hard to enforce.  As the first born child I believe my parents were trying their best to make sure I turned out “right” and that I would enter the world on my own with success.  And also that I was “right with the Lord”.

I became reclusive to my family and isolated myself from them.  I felt smothered and constricted and was ready to leave.  My mom says that when I got on the plane to leave Germany, I never looked back.

 

  • Daniel Mike

    Great post David. I remember going to the airport and you not looking back. I also remember you being the best big brother in the world and giving me all your G.I. Joes when you left!

    • David Mike

      Thanks Daniel, do you think I could have those back now?

  • C’mon man, you always leave us hanging. Let’s get on with it. I want to read more!!!! LOL. Bless you bro.

    • David Mike

      I appreciate you following my story. I keep it short so it doesn’t get overwhelming. It also helps me dig back into my memory. It was over 20 years ago and I am having to really focus.

  • Jill Ballard

    Excited to listen to your story unfold!! So thankful for your family – even from a distance!

    • David Mike

      I appreciate you reading it. Your husband and I have similarities and I thought you could relate. Thank you so much. Please feel free to share with anyone you think might need to hear this.

  • aprilbest1981

    I agree with @disqus_m6BCHot5uc:disqus you know how to tease us…going BACK before going forward 🙂 great stuff!

    • David Mike

      The first post was more like a prologue. It will all go forward from here. Thank you for being interested and also for allowing me to guest post on your blog. I enjoyed it and it was a great growth moment for me.

  • I enjoyed reading about your family’s heritage and your love for all things military. Must say that your brother Daniel’s comment here tops it all off, even as you left and never looked back.

    • David Mike

      I can’t believe how insensitive I was as a teenager. Man, if I knew what I know now…. Thanks Jeff for your support in getting my story out there.

  • Sarah

    you need to come out with this book already!! 🙂 I think as teenagers we are all a little insensitive. I remember telling my parents I couldn’t wait til I was 18 to move out and never come back!! just all part of the journey of life I guess! 🙂 cant wait for your next one!!

    • David Mike

      I know how much you value your family now. I am glad we all grow up and mature! Thanks for always reading!

  • Malori Fuchs

    David, you are an inspiration with your raw honesty! Please keep writing! 🙂

    • David Mike

      Thank you for your understanding. It is military families like yours that I wonder how my story will be received. I am glad that my past does not define me and that you are able to see through that. Thanks to your husband and to you for your service!

  • Love the pictures. Quite a bit of military heritage in the family.

    • David Mike

      The struggle with knowing how proudly they all served and comparing myself to them has been hard. Thank God, I know where my identity comes from.

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