Cellmate and the Church People (Tweet This)
A couple weeks later, around mid-January, Private First Class Eddie Gaines had his court-martial.
Even though I was taken out of jail to be present at the trial, I did not have to testify against him. This was unless, he decided at the last minute not to plead guilty.
So I basically got out of jail for a few hours.
Jane and Eddie’s girlfriend Sue who were both there and I was allowed to hang out with them. Jane told me that, she still had not been tried for the drug bust that happened the night I ran away. Her court date had been pushed up to February.
This was a serious difference between civilian court and a military court-martial. The Army was swift and expedient, no messing around.
When Eddie was escorted into the court room, I noticed that it looked like he had a black eye. So I took a mental note to ask him about that later.
He was in there for a few hours, and then it was over. Eddie was sentenced to two years in prison.
His charges were much less severe than mine and so was the punishment. This meant he would not be going to Fort Leavenworth. Instead he would be sent to Fort Riley, Kansas to a facility that housed inmates with less than a five year sentence.
Once the trial was over, they took me back to VPSO. A few hours later, to my surprise, Eddie was escorted into my cell.
I was pretty excited to not only have a cellmate, but one that I actually knew and he was glad to be placed in my cell as well.
In regards to his black eye, I decided to ask him about it.
Then he explained to me that after my trial, he was attacked by one of my drug runners.
Specialist Marshall Parker was in Club Late Nite the evening I was arrested. He found out that Eddie had written a long statement about our dealings.
Marshall had himself convinced that it was Eddie’s fault that I had gotten slammed with a five year sentence. So he went vigilante on Eddie and beat him up.
I felt bad.
I told him that I wasn’t mad at him for what he did, I knew that CID got him to talk and that he just couldn’t help himself.
On the weekends, a bunch of “church people” started coming up to the jail.
The Warden, Mr. Creasy, let them visit the inmates and they would go through the hall, stopping at each cell asking if anyone wanted prayer.
I said yes, but it was purely out of all the guilty feelings I was having for being in jail. They would reach through the bars and lay their hands on each of us. Then they would pray for us in general or for any requests we may have had.
Prayer was not foreign to me.
Growing up in the church we prayed for each other and at home we would pray. Most of the time I found myself praying for me or a situation I needed out of.
This was different though.
These people were praying specifically for me and they wanted to, out of the goodness of their heart.
These strangers seemed to care about me, what happened to me and how my relationship was with God.
Up until now, no one ever did anything for me, without wanting something from me.
When they would talk to us, I would hear some things that were similar to what I was used to and some things that were very different. It peaked my interest in trying to figure out where I stood with God.
So, I decided to ask my parents to send me a Bible that was geared towards studying.
There were some things I needed to figure out, because what I was doing wasn’t working.
In Late January, I finally signed paperwork allowing the credit union to repossess my car. They came to Jane’s and towed it away.
When looking through the bars, out the window, I could no longer see the car sitting outside Jane’s house.
One more reminder that everything I had was now gone and I was definitely not free.
I started to think about my siblings and how they might look when I got out. They would grow up and I wouldn’t even know them. At this time they were not too interested in writing, so I relied on my mom’s letters for updates, which came religiously.
Having Eddie there to keep me company, helped me from getting too depressed.
He had to stay at VPSO with me until Private First Class Chris Holmes’ trial was over since we both signed statements against him.
When I wasn’t writing letters, we would pass the time by talking about all the music we used to listen to and “fun” times we had outside the walls.
I didn’t know it yet but there was a battle was going on inside of me. (Tweet This.)
Knowing that my future would have to look different with no real direction at the moment on how to get there.
But at the same time holding on the past because it seemed more exciting that what I was facing.
This would be a battle that I would struggle with for a while.