When I left off. I was explaining about my stint in Wichita State University as a broadcast journalism major. Which quickly crashed and burned. And so after some re-thinking I decided to pursue newspaper journalism via the University of South Carolina. I had a change of mind when I was kicked out of Wichita State for poor academics and I decided to join the Air Force. The Air Force was the catalyst that opened up the world of newspaper journalism to me. No I did not land a job with AFN (The Armed forces radio and television network) and become an on-air personality and I did not even get a job as a newspaper reporter. I simply just started writing letters to the editor. And you know how that started for me. It seemed like a fluke. I just decided to write my thoughts down on paper about the situation in South Africa (Apartheid). It wasn’t even fancy. It was just my horrible printed penmanship put down long-hand on a piece of stationary. Which I passed around to some of my Air Force buddies. Some frowned and others were surprised this letter was coming from a highly motivated,truly dedicated Air Force Security Specialist,which in Air Force police technical training school was given a 341 ( derogatory comments form) for excellence in dress and appearance by one of my instructors a former US Army Ranger. Well why not? What was so strange about a cop who aspired to be a writer. Even if the start was to get my writing into a newspaper. I say that now with a great degree of bravado and confidence. But in 1984 or thereabouts I was terrified and had very little confidence that it would be printed and I just figured it would end up as my friends in Great Britain would say the dust-bin (trash-can). Then lo and behold it is published in The Stars and Stripes. That was almost thirty years ago. And I am still going strong. Mind you my journey still continues and it was not easy just getting to my present status to eventually write a book one day.On my life.
I must warn you this may end “to be continued” I have so much to say. But a body gets tired. So I will try to go as long and far as I can. Just imagine this as a fun roller coaster ride. So hold on and please don’t fall off (lol).
My career in the Air Force really just began drying up. When firstly I could not re-train from my security police position into public affairs (the newspaper). Only because I was a sergeant and they required a technical sergeant which was two grades above my rank. Secondly, I was getting more interested in politics. My first letter started me in thinking that the pen really was mightier than the sword. Sure I had expertise as a security policeman. But it was getting me nowhere. I did have some accomplishments hard earned in my career field. But it was not in my future to stay and make it a career. But writing even newspaper writing seemed like the next step for me. I did nearly four years. Then President Ronald Reagan bought out my contract. Really many service members were choosing to separate early choosing the Reagan highway to save the government money. The agreement was to get a free ticket to fly back to your area of enlistment and start a new life. With a pretty nice amount of money in your pocket after the IRS got their pint of blood. But for me I wasn’t exactly ready to fly back to the states. I had just gotten married. So when I separated from “Uncle Sugar” I was in pseudo civilian status. I was actually inactive Air Force reserve and a dependent of my wife. And I had to get a passport for travel and living purposes in Germany which is where I separated from. (To be continued). Stay tuned.