Chapter 1 - HARD TIME - Summer 1970
The handcuffs locked around my wrists. I had been tried, convicted, and sentenced.
I was twenty-one-years old, as I stood shackled and ready to be transported to the Camp Lejeune Regional Brig of the US Marine Corps in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
This military prison was where I wanted to be. My entire focus for the prior three years had been directed toward getting me to this point. This place was the only one where I could end a bad beginning.
Silently, I searched for that quiet center of my being that gave me the strength to get this far. My heart pounded. My swirling emotions calmed when I focused my attention on my hands. The handcuffs threw me; they were not part of my anticipated scenario.
My sorrow was deep. Not for myself, but for others for whom I caused pain and suffering through my actions. I asked myself, “My God, why hadn’t I grown up sooner?”