I was raised in the whimsical lifestyle of a gypsy, well, actually it was the constantly relocating lifestyle of a military brat. Truthfully, there isn’t much of a difference.
In keeping with the family tradition, I raised my right hand when the time came, and said: “I will”. In reality. I dropped out of my first semester of college. Drew number 35 in the draft lottery so instead of being forced into the Army’s infantry, willfully joined the Air Force. After all, it was 1970. The ride lasted 14 years.
At age 13, on the lonely island of Kodiak, Alaska, I developed an interest in music after watching the Beatles get all the girls. My folks ordered a $13.00 guitar from Sears in Seattle, and It has since been the source of many tales. Even during my military time, I performed on the side, or at least entertained my buddies, and even served as lead guitarist/vocalist for the USAF rock band for several years.
Not wanting to write an autobiography in lieu of a short bio, as with many writers, I tend to draw on life’s experiences, whether my own or from generational stories passed along, and blow them wildly out of proportion. They become intertwined within a web of imagination until sometimes even I can no longer determine truth from fiction.
“21 Guns Bid me Goodbye” is based on the PTSD suicide of my Army veteran son. The story as I have written it merely touches on the actual event, but more so focuses on the life of the father, followed by the observation of his son upon his return home from his 4th warzone deployment and subsequent forced medical retirement. Be aware, many facts and characters have been changed. Many events have been elaborated, some way more than others. Also know, it was written with great emotional difficulty, so you figure it out.
But. Enough about me. Start reading…
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Twenty-One Guns Bid Me Goodbye
by Gary Hays
Published: February 11, 2014
Life altering events sometimes present themselves in the form of tragedy. Samuel McRoberts, settling into his golden years, is a man residing within the confines of his once sound mind. At 62, his past is his present. The future is of little significance. Dashed with humor and inspiration, his life was anything but mundane. Based on a true story.
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