I was born and raised in New York City. My three brothers and I were raised in a good family – my parents were married, both of them worked and there was never any alcohol or drug or abuse. I went to Fordham prep in the Bronx. It was one of the top high schools and we were told that many of the classes would be more challenging than college courses. I thought it would inspire me to want to go to college but it had the opposite effect. The school work was monotonous and I didn’t want to go to college where there would be more of the same. I had enough of it. My mom was upset but my dad supported my decision.
After high school I went directly into the Marine Corps and served there from 1991 – 2013. I was in Somalia in 1991. Croatia in 1993. Bosnia in 1995. Kosovo in 1997. Iraq in 2002, 2004 and 2007. Afghanistan in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Somalia was the bloodiest and nastiest. I was lucky I made it out of there. I was an eighteen year old kid and didn’t know what was going on. There was mass confusion on a scale unlike anything I saw anywhere else during my time in the military. During ground battles I shuttled injured Marines and soldiers back and forth to my post. I remember using buckets of water to clean all the blood out of the Humvees and helicopters.
In Iraq a lot of the Marines were convinced that George Bush knew there were no weapons of mass destruction there. We figured Bush junior wanted to get revenge against Saddam Hussein because Saddam had put a contract on his father’s head a few years earlier. 5,000 kids died for no reason.
I was shot six times in Afghanistan – three times in the lower left quadrant, one in my right knee and two in my left knee. I was in a convoy and the first two Bradleys got taken out. I got out of my vehicle and walked into live ground fire to see who was injured when I got shot. I was in the hospital for nine months.
I got home in December and my wife and daughter were killed on March 3rd of the following year in a forty car pileup on the George Washington Bridge. I met my wife when I was twelve years old. She was from a coal mining town in West Virginia. I fell in love with her because of her accent. We dated since the 6th grade. She was the only woman I’ve ever been with, the only woman I’ve ever kissed. We were together until we were forty and we never fought – we just loved each other more with each passing year.
Because I was in the military we moved all over – Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Twentynine Palms, California; Quantico, Virginia – and wherever we lived, my wife always transformed the house into our home within a day. Right up until this day, a lot of my friends tell me I had the most wonderful marriage in the entire world. We were lovie dovie and kissy kissy up until the day she died.
As my daughter grew older, moving became more difficult. But my wife was the glue that held the family together. My daughter, Victoria, was such a cool kid. Most fourteen year old kids don’t want to spend time with their parents but Victoria always wanted to be with us. On the weekends instead of going out with her friends she’d ask if the three of us could go to the movies together. She loved spending time with us.
My wife and I had just started talking about having another kid. We loved Victoria so much we wanted another baby girl. I miss them both every day.
When I found out my wife and daughter died I sat in my living room with a loaded 9mm gun in my lap. I sat there trying to think of why I shouldn’t kill myself. But I didn’t kill myself because I knew that as a Catholic man, if I committed suicide I would go to hell and never see them again. And I wanted to see them so badly.
I lost my house later that year and I’ve been living on the streets since…
Follow me on these social media sites:
- Facebook – Goose Chronicles
- Twitter – @goosechronicle
- Instagram – goosechronicles
- Tumblr – Goose Chronicl