Apr 22

AWOL Again


AWOL Again

The drive to Dallas was going to take about four and a half hours; giving me plenty of time to think things over. Thoughts were battling each other in my mind, but self-preservation dominated.


What was I doing? Had I seriously just run away again? I was so screwed! My life was such a mess!

I did not want to go to prison! That’s why I left. This time no one would find me.

I would not be going back to Leesville or Houston ever again. It wasn’t safe. I needed to go someplace where no one knew who I was or had ever heard of me. Dallas was a new place.

Upon arrival, I met up with my friends at their apartment. Pav and Nick were former Infantry from Ft. Polk and were living there with Mary, Sara and Nora who were sisters from Alexandria.

Pav and Nick were a couple of the guys that started taking me out to the clubs in Alexandria. Pav was from Dallas. The guys moved up there after coming back from Panama and separating from the Army. They brought the girls up with them to get away from the scene.

Staying here was safe for now, but I needed to move somewhere else. I could not go back to Germany to live with my family because I was AWOL. Going back to Houston would not be a good idea. So I had some decisions to make.

My friends told me not to worry about anything and that I could stay there as long as I wanted.

Having left on 16 Nov 89, a Thursday evening, the next morning during roll call, I was listed as missing formation. On Monday, the second week day, missing formation was listed again.

On Tuesday 21 Nov 89, I was officially listed as AWOL. At this time SA Thundercloud was contacted and so were my parents.

I missed my Court-Martial date which affected my dad’s orders to appear and his trip was canceled.

My parents never ceased praying for me once I left for the Army.  They prayed for my safety and protection while I was on the run the first time. Now they intensely prayed to God, that he would have me come to my senses and turn myself in.

On 21 Nov 89, I received a phone call from Jane. She told me that Thundercloud called her and said he wanted to talk to me. He knew that she would be able to contact me.

An overpowering and urgent feeling came over me to talk to him. I knew that I needed to, so I called the number she gave me. Once he picked up he asked me about why I left and what was going through my mind.

I explained to him how important it was to me, that I have my dad at my trial. I felt like the Army or the Prosecution was trying to speed up my trial so that he could not make it on purpose.

I basically felt abandoned. A six year prison sentence was freaking me out. I didn’t think I could survive it. I just couldn’t take it, got scared and ran. It’s the only thing I knew how to do.

He said that I needed to come back to Ft. Polk, turn myself in and get what was going to happen to me over with. He said I needed to get on with my life. He told me again, that he would do everything in his power to help me out. I knew deep down inside that I could trust him.

I felt an enormous pressure all around my body and my chest was heavy, making it hard to breathe. My head tingled almost to the point of feeling like I would pass out. My ears were ringing.

From inside my soul, I could feel the urge to do the right thing.

I didn’t hear a voice from God, but I believe he was telling me that this whole thing was over.

It was time to stop running.

For the first time since I ran away, I made the decision to face my fears.

I would walk through the fires that I had lit for myself.

Taking too many easy ways out, had made my life the mess that it was.

I had run off the road so many times and now I had to get back on the road and head in the opposite direction.

I said to Thundercloud,

“I’m on my way back.”

  • Judith Heaney-mcKee

    For the first time since I started reading your series, I think I feel at least a little bit of relief because you are turning to face the consequences for your choices. Of course, I’m a little freaked out about you heading to jail, as you’ve mentioned you were.

    My favorite lines from this series so far:

    “For the first time since I ran away, I made the decision to face my fears.

    I would walk through the fires that I had lit for myself.

    Taking too many easy ways out, had made my life the mess that it was.”

    So powerful!

    • David Mike

      You can breath now, the rest of the story is less scary. This was one of a few pivotal moments in my life and faith. The crazy life ended but the story continues!

  • What a hard way to live. So glad you decided to stop running and face the issues. I look forward to the rest of the story.

    • David Mike

      I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment!

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