This was a heavy blow to me because I really wanted to cut hair when I got out of prison. My plan was to get my barber’s license, gain some professional experience and start working as soon as I got out. It seemed as if I was going to have to attend school after my release.
Staying in the mess hall was not what I had in mind. However, because of my skill level at work, I was now receiving four days of extra good time a month. I currently had eight days saved up. If I never made parole, all the extra good days would drop about five months off my minimum release date. That would move it from July 1993 to around February 1993. I would lose the ability to accumulate that many if I switched details. So maybe it was for the best that I stayed put. Even though I was upset about having to stay in the mess hall, I guess it was a blessing that I wouldn’t be able to receive until later. As I look back now, God had a plan.
My spirits were lifted by all the cards that started to come in. The slowdown of mail had been making me feel kind of down. One card was from Mary Sue and her husband. She was the lady from Eddie’s church that prayed for me every day. I’m not sure why, but God wrote my name on her heart and she took a special interest in my well-being. I’m sure today that the reason things didn’t go worse for me is because of people like Mary Sue who lifted me up in prayer throughout my confinement. The fact that God had prayer warriors around the world, zoned in on me, was definitely a blessing.
My Christmas package arrived. I can’t remember everything that my parents put in there, but I do remember there were boxed and packaged snack foods and Studio Line by L’Oreal strong hold fixing gel. The only hair product that we could have issued to us was some sort of grease that had no hold. You might have been able to use it to lubricate machinery.
I requested the gel because I was trying to keep my hair longer than regulation. The barber who became a good friend of mine would cut the sides of my hair really short and barely take anything off the top. It was kind of a way around the Army haircut regulations. As long as I could keep all of my hair from falling down in my face, none of the guards really said anything. That’s why I had to have the product. Yes, still a rebel. Aside from the hair gel, it was nice to have some stuff from home.
Home was about to get a little bit closer. My father’s tour in Germany was coming to an end and he was going to be coming back to the U.S. sometime in May. In the military, you fill out a dream sheet. Basically you list the bases you would like to go to. If they had an opening for what you did and for your rank you could end up there. This was also kind of a joke because many times the military just sent you where they thought they needed you.
Otherwise, there would probably be bases around that would be empty because no one would pick them. Although he didn’t pick it, he was going to be stationed at Offut AFB, in Omaha, NE. Coming back to the states meant that I could call them collect instead of trying to three way call through a friend. Moving to Omaha meant that they were only going to be about three hours away from Ft. Leavenworth. They would be close enough to visit. I’m not sure if the Air Force picked this destination or if God did.
It seemed that when I would get really down, God would send something my way in various forms to lift me back up again. In the month that is usually reserved for the celebration of His birth, it seemed as if I were the one receiving all the blessings.