Sep 09

Military Inmates

Military Inmates

Military Inmates

Military Inmates (Tweet This)

The closer it got to Tessler’s trial, the more military inmates started showing up in jail. I did not have to testify in all of their court-martials. Just two more and I was done.

I decided to reach out and call a friend from high school who had not responded to any of my letters at this time. I am sure it was pretty weird to accept a collect call from a jail, but I figured we were friends. I don’t think he really wanted to talk to me. It was probably out of pity that he accepted the call.

I was starting to feel more and more isolated from the life outside the walls. I realized now that I had probably burned some bridges with many people due to my actions and my current situations. It would probably take some time before people were used to the fact that even though I was an inmate with a criminal history, I was still David Mike.

While the church people were up at the jail, one of them asked if Eddie and I were interested in going to a school to speak to the students about our situation and to encourage them to stay out of trouble. We both said, “Yes” but were sure that the Army would never let it happen. It was good to hear someone say that they were interested in my story. That they were interested in me as a person. That I had value.

A letter came to me from Virginia. It was Jane and she had completed her move with her mom and brother.  She said that she was doing fine and that she would see me at Captain Tessler’s trial. A lot of people were being called as witnesses in this trial!

Specialist Vann was a friend of mine and a medic in my unit. He was now with us. It was nice to see another familiar face. Eddie and I helped him get acclimated although he would not have to stay as long as we did.

A few days later, Chris Holmes arrived. I had to attend this court-martial. During the questioning, a specific incident was brought up. There were a few Ecstasy pills that had gotten crushed into powder. We took this powder and placed it inside the empty gelatin casing of Tylenol capsules.

This resulted in a charge of manufacturing Ecstasy. Because of this charge, Chris got sentenced to 4 years! I couldn’t believe this, he didn’t actually manufacture the drugs. We just made it so we didn’t have to snort it up our noses.

The next arrival was Specialist Bell who was also a medic in my unit. He was the other friend of Captain Tessler and had also overdosed on morphine in Panama. He was lucky to be alive. I found out something I did not know about Bell. His father, who was living in Texas, was a drug and alcohol counselor. Go figure!

Bell and Vann were going to have to be called as witnesses in Tessler’s trial. Because they bought drugs for him and partied with him, the judge was going to want to hear what they had to say.

They even brought Specialist Devin back from Ft. Leavenworth to testify against him as well. Devin used to live in Jane’s trailer and had been a mechanic in our unit. He was in a club one night and witnessed Tessler clearly losing his faculties on Ecstasy.

I guess Tessler was adamantly standing his ground on pleading not guilty to all charges against him. The Army was not taking any chances with taking down an Officer who was doing drugs. They wanted to make an example out of him.

This trial was going to be a pretty big deal. And to just think that Tessler was the one who turned in Bell and Vann. If he had never done that, his own trial would have never happened.

In the last week of March, Captain Steven Tessler had his court-martial. Because he pled not guilty, they really slammed him. He was sentenced to total forfeiture of all rank and pay. A dishonorable discharge, and seven years in confinement!

That was two years more than my sentence. Unbelievable.

He was taken up to the jail and was now a military inmate, just like the rest of us. He seemed to be taking it pretty well considering he was going away for a long time and he was sitting in jail with a bunch of inmates that had just testified against him.

The good thing for him was that Officers got a direct spot in Ft. Leavenworth. He would be taken there within days. The rest of us had to wait for a spot. Now that this trial was over and I had no more to testify in, I would be able to leave as soon as they found a place for me to go.

I talked to Devin a bit about what to expect at Ft. Leavenworth. He said it wasn’t bad at all. Everyone gets treated like humans. It was a pretty safe place if you have to be in a prison.

Everyone there was a military inmate. No civilians. It’s pretty well disciplined. So it was not like going to a federal or a state prison.

My only problem was, that even though I hadn’t been there yet, I already had a reputation as a snitch or an informant. Not a good label to have. Devin said, that no harm would come to me, but I would not be trusted for a long time.

I told him, I didn’t really care.

They took Devin back to Fort Leavenworth and they took Chris Holmes with him. Everyone else would be going either to Ft. Riley or Ft. Leavenworth around the same time.

Except Eddie, for some reason he got put on another thirty day hold.

I did not envy him.

I did not want to spend another minute in this disgusting place.

I was ready to go…


Next post, I move out of the jail but not to Fort Leavenworth…

  • Steven Tessler

    Your fortitude is amazing! I’ve never asked but are you an introvert? I thinking yes by the way you are taking this confinement. You don’t like it but yet you are still able to handle being there.

    I would think that it would be difficult to remember everything that happened without writing it down. Not sure if you did that.

    Love the fact that I feel that I’m there with you.

    • Wait…are you the same Captain Tessler in this story?!

      • Steven Tessler

        Wouldn’t that be something!!!

        No David and I are friends and he asked me if he could use my name since he didn’t want to name the real person.

        I’ve never asked him if he’s since spoken to the real “Captain Tessler”.

        • 🙂 !

        • David Mike

          More on the real Captain Tessler later.

      • David Mike

        I have changed all the names of everyone to protect the innocent and guilty. Just my family and me as well as my lawyer Captain Jokinen retain our actual names.

    • David Mike

      Steve, I am an introvert. Also in 1990 I was 20 years old and not only was I stupid and living on impulse, but I had absolutley no sense of reality. I did not understand the gravity of the situation or the rammifications. As far as memory, I remember most of everything. However, I have the verbatim court-martial records with complete police records, and my mother recently handed me every letter I wrote her after I left for the Army up until my last year in Fort Leavenworth.

  • Brian Hope

    Love your story, and Charisnotparis I was wondering the same thing……

    • Steven Tessler

      No, I wasn’t even in the military then.

      He asked me if he could use my name in place of the “real” Captain.

    • I was wondering if Chris Holmes was too… 🙂

      • David Mike

        I also used Chris Holmes name with his permission. There are others sprinkled in there.

    • David Mike

      Thank you Brian! I appreciate your support. I started to use names of people in Jon Acuff’s and Jeff Goins’ groups instead of making them up. It is my way of showing the people that have been very supportive that I appreciate them.

  • waiting the next post with baited breath!

    • David Mike

      Thank you for keeping up with me! I wish I had the time to post twice a week.

  • Keepin it intersting ..who knew we were amongst such notorious celebrities 🙂

    • David Mike

      Thanks Charles! You might see your name end up in my story as well.

  • Still going strong with the storytelling.

    But, you know me and all my questions/comments….

    I’d love to know what you and your high school friend talked about. Did you do most of the talking? Was it a pretty short phone call? Did he seem to want to hear what you had to say or was he itching to get off the phone?

    What happened with speaking at any of the high schools? That seems like it may have been a seed planted, too, indicating that one day you needed to share your story and use what God had led you through….

    Did Tessler interact with any of you when he arrived at the jail or did he ignore/avoid all of you? If you have any details of interactions with him and any of you, that would be an interesting and additional level of detail to your story….

    With Eddie on another 30-day hold, would he still have the opportunity to see his girlfriend? That, for him, must have been at least a bit of a silver lining?

    And now that I’m caught up again, I have to wait for the next post. Though, it should be coming soon 🙂

    {one small p.s. from a writing standpoint: try to avoid using exclamation points, at least when it’s time to rewrite. The story and the unfolding details speak for themselves.}

    • David Mike

      With my friend, I don’t remember the conversation much. My letter to my parents said that we talked. I Googled him a couple years ago and emailed him, but no response. I think he has moved on. My mom talks to his mom still.

      The school visit was a no go. We never asked. It was cool that they wanted us to do it. I looked terrible and it probably would have scared the kids.

      Tessler was in a separate cell block and kept away from us for saftey reasons. More to come from him later. An interesting situation.

      Eddie did get to see her, they broke up after he left Lousiana. I went to visit him in 94.

      Thanks for the technical advice and your continued support!

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