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I have three brothers and no sisters. I am the youngest. All my life I have heard the youngest is always spoiled. Well I’m still waiting to be spoiled. I grew up poor in a pretty rough neighborhood. I was a tomboy, but with three older brothers and no sisters, what else did you expect? Growing up poor has its benefits. Growing up in a rough neighborhood has even more benefits. Through both you have to be a survivor. You also learn how hard it is to get out of poverty. Many people get sucked into living off the government. They hang out talking about what they are going to do but never getting off their butts to it. That is the easy way out. They keep blaming everybody and everything else for their situation. It’s harder to accept responsibility for your own life and then go for it.

After high school I went to LPN school. I always wanted to be a nurse. I don’t know why, I just did. Halfway through the program I got sick and required emergency surgery. I couldn’t finish the course and would have had to reapply following year. That wouldn’t fit into my plans because I had no money. And I already decided I wanted to go straight for my RN degree. Therefore I got a job as a secretary. Two very important realities became loud and clear to me with this job. First, I realized I was not going to save money for RN school on $75.00 a week before taxes, and second, I really hated the job. I have nothing against secretaries. The job was not for me. I hated being chained to one spot, but it motivated me to find a way to get an education. There is nothing harder than to get up and go to a job you hate every day plus do a good job while you are there.

So I came up with a new plan. I joined the army. The only problem with the plan was they changed the GI Bill, and I didn’t find out until after I signed the papers and swore in. Oh the government did offer a plan for tuition. I just didn’t think it was worth the paper it was printed on. It was a mute point by then. I signed the papers, and nobody twisted my arm. So in August of 1977, after just turning twenty years old the month before, I went into the army.

What can I say about my time in the army? More accurately, what am I willing to reveal about my time in the army? I thought long and hard on this and procrastinated for more then a fair amount of time. Finally I decided enough was enough.

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