Resume & Relatives
I joined the Army when I was 20 years old to be a Rigger. Packing parachutes for personnel and equipment was what I did mostly. A legal sweatshop, but don’t tell the Army. I also rigged equipment for airdrop. That was fun. Another part of being a Rigger is parachute maintenance. That was not as much fun. Just because my mother is a seamstress does not mean that I can use a sewing machine. Seriously, a young man that played soccer and football in high school using a sewing machine is a funny sight. The funniest part of being a Rigger is jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft with the intent to land safely on the ground. Talk about an adrenaline rush!!!! So yes, I may have a screw loose somewhere.
After 12 years of being a Rigger, the Army decided that I needed to be a Recruiter. In Maine!! I was born in Maine but grew up in South Carolina. Stationed in Georgia and North Carolina. So, when they told me to go to Maine, my lips turned blue and I started shivering. So, the family and I took off to Maine. It was cold. We left NC in May with temps in the 90s and arrived in Maine two days later. It was raining and in the 50s. I could not put on enough clothes! I looked like Ralphie’s brother in “A Christmas Story.”
My recruiting started in Portland, Maine and ended up in Presque Isle, Maine. A totally different world within the same state. Presque Isle was the simple life that I enjoyed. The city rolled up the sidewalks around nine p.m. The only thing open after midnight was the hospital and one gas station. During my time in Presque Isle, I would drive past Mt Katahdin on my way to training or whatever and said I will climb that one day. It was September of 2013 that I did summit Mt Katahdin. There were celebrations from thru hikers at the top. Their stories were awe-inspiring and amazing. The seed was planted. I will have that same feeling and experience.
I retired from the Army after 24 years of honorable service at Fort Bragg, NC. My time in the Army was awesome. You can call me lucky that I did not deploy for more than 100 days during the war on terror. I feel that I missed out on something. I consider myself like one of the Vietnam-era veterans that went to Germany for their deployment because I deployed to Germany for those 100 days. It is what it is. I am proud of my service in the Army and would not change a thing. After I took off the uniform, I got a job as a truck driver and would pass by signs showing AT crossings. The seed grew, and I put in a notice to my employer after five years that I was leaving to hike the AT. The looks I got. Hahahaha.
I met my future wife from a friend of hers who worked the drive-thru window that I always stopped at on my way home. I called her and set a date to meet and go to a movie. Blind date, here I come. We saw “Ghost.” After the movie, we talked, I picked on her, and then she had to go in. I was going to walk her to the door, as a gentleman would, and she said no, turned, and gave me a kiss. I saw sparks, fireworks, and hearts. When I came to my senses, she had turned and ran to the door, grass and rocks kicked up in my face. Maybe that is why I came back to my senses.
We married six months later and still enjoy being around each other. We have three kids and two grandkids with another on the way. Our two boys still live in the Presque Isle area with their families. Our daughter lives with us due to her having Autism. She is high functioning and does everything to make you happy. She is the greatest. We also have two fur babies, dachshunds. They are like a five-year-old every day.
The rest of my family: Mom, Dad, and two brothers with their families live in South Carolina. They are supportive of my trek but also have concerns like “what are you going to eat,” “where you going to sleep,” “how do you go to the bathroom,” and “what if it rains.” I tell them noodles, tent, like normal, and get wet. They are also interested and will follow along as I update my progress. Maybe they will surprise me along the way somewhere, fingers crossed.
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