Growing Up

Before I get into my story I want to thank you guys for the motivating guests you have on, I have listened to them all within a week. I also love the mad 20 Minutes! I have had many never quit stories but I might as well share the earliest one. I grew up extremely poor, you know the saying that we grew up poor but didn’t know it? Well, we knew it. This was the result of my Vietnam Vet dads alcohol problem. He was drunk daily and could be very verbally abusive. My sister and I, being the oldest, took the brunt of it. of Our family of six lived in a two bedroom trailer. I ate my share of potted meat sandwiches and there were plenty of NY winter nights that we ran out of kerosene for our furnace and us four kids would huddle in one bed to stay warm. In the summers I would work with dad some days on his trash route and I had been in more dive bars before I turned 18 than I have since(Being a Marine that’s probably not true but I was in more than my share of them). We moved out and back in a few times until mom finally had enough and they divorced when I was 16. In situations like the one I grew up in its easy to give up, blame your upbringing and follow the same road your parents did. My never quit moment was when I decided I didn’t want the same life I grew up in. We all have to make our own choices and own them. I have heard other people say the American dream is dead, I don’t buy it! We all have our own dream and mine was to have a family, own the house with the white picket fence and not give up on my wife and kids. My siblings didn’t quit either, of the four of us three served in the military, my sister did 5 years in the Army and my brother and I are retired Marines. I guess I did pretty good on my dream also, my wife and I have been married 29 years, my daughter just finished her junior year in college and my Marine son will be pinning on his Captain bars in September. It hasn’t come without struggles, When my daughter was a junior in high school when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, preparing to be an empty nester with my mortgage almost paid off I thought I would be able to afford to build the man cave and buy the Jeep Rubicon I’ve always wanted. It was then our lives took a big left turn, I guess we had done so well at parenting (mostly my wife) that God decided we needed to fight for custody of our 7 year old nephew and 5 year old niece. They were my brother in laws kids and social services took them from their dysfunctional home and put them with us. We thought our next phase in life was to work with vets in need and doing mission trips but instead looked for a bigger house with a new mortgage put everything on hold. It took me longer than my wife to adjust but that’s what a family is supposed to do, step up for each other. I guess the man cave can wait. Quitting can’t be an option! Thanks for giving us a forum to share our stories! The picture I uploaded is my brother, my son and myself(I am on the far right), we had the honor of giving him his first salute the day this was taken. Semper Fi brothers

Author: Wayne