Apr 15

Flight Risk



Having been AWOL for 6 months, I was considered a flight risk which meant likely to run.

The Criminal Investigation Division Drug Suppression Team wanted me to work with them, but I was locked in a cell.

If I were going to do things for them, I had to be released from the Installation Detention Facility.

My lawyer Captain Castillo asked me, “If you were sent back to your unit, would you run again?” My answer was “No.” Because of how honest and forthcoming I had been up to this point, he believed me. I was escorted back to my unit and considered a non-flight risk.

I was confined to the barracks area and told that if I needed to go anywhere, it would be escorted by MP’s or a CID Agent.

I had to report to formation with my platoon in the morning, and in the evening. Also I could go to the chow hall on my own, which was just a short walk from the barracks.

I was designated, permanent Charge of Quarters. This meant I sat by a phone waiting for emergency phone calls.

Not many soldiers in my platoon really wanted to associate with me. Maybe they thought they would be accused of guilt by association. There were other people getting busted around Post and they did not want to go down with any of us.

There were a couple guys around that I had partied with. They hung out with me in the evenings.

A date for my Court-Martial was set. It was going to be coming up pretty quickly. There were two soldiers from my platoon that said they would be character witnesses for me.

The Prosecuting Attorney secured my platoon Sergeant as a witness. This was to make sure that I was not eligible for a retraining program back into the Army.

Special Agent Thundercloud said he would be a witness for the defense if I helped him, but I needed someone who would stand up for my personal character.

Even though I messed up, I still believed that there was someone who would say, I was a good guy at heart. I requested USAF Master Sergeant David J. Mike, my father.

I did not think about the fact, that for my dad to be present at my Court-Martial, he would need military orders. As an official witness, the military would send him from Germany, to the trial of his son.

These orders would have to be signed by his Commander. I can’t even imagine the conversation they had together. The embarrassment or shame my father had to have felt did not stop him from coming to help me. He didn’t hesitate.

In a turn of events, something went wrong.

My Court-Martial date was moved up. My dad would make it in time to take care of my personal effects. He would not make it in time for the trial.

No one who really cared about me would be there.

I started to freak out, they were going to slam me with a 6 year sentence.

I had a small taste of being in jail, but having to sit in a prison for 6 years seemed to me an impossibility. I would never survive. This was just too much for me to handle.

A friend’s girlfriend, who worked in Army Administration, said that she could take my birth certificate and change my name on it.

I let her. Leaving Post was forbidden, but I had other plans.



With my new identity, I got in my car and drove to Jane’s trailer.

Telling everyone there what was happening, I said I could not go back to jail and definitely was not going to prison for 6 years.

I would rather die.

I contacted a couple of former soldiers that recently got out of the Army and had moved to Dallas, TX. They said I could stay with them as long as I wanted to.

Jane had a pistol that she found in one of the closets of the trailer when she first moved in. She did not know who it belonged to and had wanted to get rid of it.

Taking the pistol I made a decision that if anyone came after me, I would either shoot myself, or attempt suicide by cop.

Saying goodbye, I got in my car and left for Dallas.

I was AWOL again.

  • Judith Heaney-mcKee

    If this were a novel or a film, this is where I would yell at the screen / the character because it is so obvious that he is making a bad, bad, bad decision. And of course, it would do no good, just like here in this story.

    I was hoping that this would go down differently.

    This is definitely a wild, wild ride, David, and I am back to fretting about what happens next…

    • David Mike

      You should have been yelling since the beginning of the story then! All bad decisions. Next post is the turning poing. Spoiler alert!

  • Candy Sparks

    Whoa. That is an intense moment. I have had a CID investagtion done to me before and it isn’t pretty at all. I can’t wait to read more of your story. Thanks for sharing.

    • David Mike

      Candy, why were you investigated if you don’t mind me asking? Where were you stationed?

  • “No, don’t run! Go back!” is what I said when I read the last part. I really thought you were going to start facing up to it all at this point. Already looking forward to next week’s post. Thanks again for getting your story out there!

    • David Mike

      Next post is where things start to change. Thank you for keeping up with me.

  • sarah hinrichs

    WOW!!! that’s all I got 🙂

    • David Mike


  • Mariane Kvist Doktor

    Wow. I will stop my reading for today. I’m impressed you can remember so much. You are writing a book about it, right? If not, you must begin now!

    • David Mike

      Mariana, after I started writing, my mother gave me a stack of letters. It was every letter I wrote home after leaving the for the Army all the way through my second year in prison. I also found my trial transcripts complete with arrest and surveillance records. So it’s been pretty easy to recall events. Yes, the blog is a rough draft for the book. Thanks for reading!

  • This one is very powerful. You really captured the emotions of knowing you’re in a tough spot and then the desperation and decision to run away again no matter what. Great post, David.

    • David Mike

      Thanks again! Really, I was a stupid, scared kid who kept digging a deeper hole for myself.

  • Well crap. Thought we had reached the turning point in the story and were getting to the “happily ever after part”. Even know you are alive and well the suicide part is scary to read.

    • David Mike

      There was no way I was going back without someone being there to stick up for me. There is something about this particular part that is different in the book. I just found out about it last month.

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