Waiting was not something I was good at. It always produced a level of anxiety that would drive me to the point of insanity. One would think that I would be an expert at it, since it was the way everything happened in the Army and especially at the USDB.
Over the four weeks following my parole board, wondering what their decison would be kept popping up in my mind. So, I tried to remain calm by staying preoccupied. Keeping busy at work and in my personal time, to make the weeks go by with less stress, was my new mission in life.
On 27 July 1992, I received an official Army envelope, just like the one I got after the last parole board. There was nothing on the outside to indicate what was on the inside, but I knew what it was. The decision.
Not wanting to wait a second longer, I carefully tore the envelope open and slid out the documents inside. Right at the top of one of the pages, under the Military Review Boards Agency address were the words Certificate of Parole.
I made it.
Knowing that they believed what I had told them and that they believed in me, was such a good feeling. It was so amazing to know that I was trusted. Now I had a decision to make. To stay at the LPU for three to four months and have total freedom or to leave in a month with strings attached.
The date that I would be released on parole was 25 August 1992. The parole term would be effective until 11 November 1994. If I accepted this decision, I would have to report to a parole officer for a little over two years. This meant that if I violated any of the parole conditions during that time, I would be returning to serve out the rest of my sentence inside the walls.
If I decided to decline their decision and stay at the LPU, I would be getting out around December. This was because of all the good time I had accumulated from working in the mess hall. One of the perks of having a job that no one wanted, was more time knocked off my sentence.
Essentially I had the right to say; “No, thank you.” to parole. Even though I had earned it, if I wanted to stay and serve out my sentence, it was up to me. If I stayed, I would not have to report to anyone upon release. I would be completely free.
My decision was based on the fact that I did not care to spend one more day in this place. Not three months, three weeks, three hours or three minutes. Feeling pretty confident that I would not be having anymore life issues in the next two years, I decided to take parole.
Maybe this was an impulse decision on my part, but with every fiber of my being,
I wanted out.