First, let me take this opportunity to say thank you for actually reading this (if anyone actually does). Second, let me thank those who who have shared a little of themselves with me by letting others see their work. Either written or in another form of art. You are truly my inspiration for starting this blog. http://bloodyvoodoo.deviantart.com/ and http://wp.me/2rOj9.
I have written a lot over the years, just never really shared it anywhere or with anyone. Some of it is in lost notebooks, in buried letters, on different forms of technology that can no longer be deciphered. Many years ago now, I did have one of my poems published. Another funny fact, some of my letters from Iraq have been used for research and studies of several people with more letters after their name than I have in my entire name. Between other people sharing and my therapists (yes I have more than one… hopefully you’ll understand more later) recently reminding me that writing, drawing, or creating something is a good therapy for almost anyone…it especially works well for me. It helps me not to bottle to much up inside then come crashing down or exploding outward.
I am certain that soon anyone who actually may read this will come to understand more things about me then I usually understand myself. As you can tell sometimes I tend to over-think practically everything, so it is usually not easy for me to clearly express my point.
My rough background is this….
I grew up in a small town in eastern Ohio. I was adopted at age five, so the family that raised me is my only real family. I was the second youngest of six growing up. 3 boys and 3 girls spanning more years than I can recall. Myself and my younger sister they adopted after they became our foster parents and did not want to let us go.
Growing up while my older brothers were always fixing something, or doing some “manly” project I was usually doing something with music. There was always something… marching band, orchestra, pep band, jazz band, show choir, choir, or even simply taking lessons; mainly for the trombone(which was my primary instrument). as much as I thought I would have been sheltered growing up in a small town with an average-to-lower average income family I truly was not. At age 9 I started working my taking on one of my older siblings paper route. This of course lead to side jobs such as mowing grass, shoveling and plowing snow, raking leaves or whatever else they were willing to pay me to do. This taught me not only a good work ethic, but also a lot of facts of life. I remember more than once having to loan either one of my sibling or my parents money for something or another that tends to “happen” in life.
Fast forward toward the end of my junior year. I like most people was looking for some direction… college? technical school? any other options? I had pretty much decided the only college I wanted to do, was the one my parents were honest with me when they told me they could not afford music college, as badly as I wanted to attend. The next best option for me was to try out for the main Army band, they play for the president and tour around Europe. I later learned that most people start out at their post band and work their way up, but at age 17 I tried out anyhow.The local recruiter drove me to Maryland and I walked in and gave it my best against people who were struggling, but most played for some real professional orchestra. I missed it by half a point. Decided that I would try out for my post band and work my way up. After testing me they determined I could do a lot of jobs in the Army, so my recruiter and I narrowed it down to two. M1A1 Abrams tank mechanic had something like a $16,000 enlistment bonus, I would get half after I reported to my first duty station and the rest would be split between the number of years I enlisted and give a little each year. Even though the only real reason I had ever touched a wrench was to fix the tire on one of my bicycles, I decided to go for it.
I was originally suppost to go to basic training between my junior and senior year, but had the opportunity to go and tour Europe with the spirit of America national honor band. I toured Europe, about 12 countries for about three weeks. After graduation I left for basic training, on all days my mom’s birthday in July. Basic training in Ft. Knox in July was hot and humid to say the least, but I made it through and arrived at Ft. Lewis Washington around the 1st of January 1998. Met my to be wife on-line and we were married, mainly because she was 8 months pregnant in Jan 2000. I, for the health care coverage and bonus, re-enlisted for four more years and the opportunity to take my wife and newly born son to Germany.
Germany should be it’s own posting so I will make this short. I was injured in a training accident November 2002, deployed to Iraq (despite the fact I was medically non-deployable) in April 2003 and finally made it back to Germany in July of 2004. Due to the accident, the deployment, the impending birth of my daughter, and various other factors I decided to take my honorable discharge and give the civilian life a try. I moved to Portland, Oregon in January 2005. My daughter was born April of that year and I had started being a forklift technician. I was repairing forklifts at various customer sites around the city.
The income I was making was not enough to support my family and an opportunity to make more come about, so I went into doing mechanical and industrial insulation. Construction is hard work in and of itself, but especially for someone who is physically disabled. I did this for two years before I decided to take some of my benefits from being in the Army and go back to college to do something that was not so hard on my wounded body. It took me three years to finally get my two year associates degree in CAD/ CAM Technologies. I took a starting job as a machinist, doing mostly CNC machining. Then an opportunity with what look to be a better company kind of presented itself after 2 and 1/2 years at my first company. I have now been here since March of this year, 2013.
There are a a lot of gaps and missed details, but I am sure I will go into most of these later. For now I am sure this is more than enough. Till next time… Joe