|Williamsburg, Va. just before mob to Middle East|
I graduated with the class of 1970 after living in Columbus for several years. I suppose that I suffered from the sort of identity crisis that so many Army brats do, since we really couldn't figure out exactly where "home" was. Mine might have been a little bit more pronounced than many, maybe this is because I was born in Europe (Germany). My identity crises involved a question in my mind asking, just who was I really anyway? I was detached for the purpose of mentally and culturally remaining connected to this part of myself. But, I also lived a few other places during my youth. This was since my father was in the Army; its pretty well known that that's what Army families do. Back in High School I guess that I always had a longing to be somewhere else. While living in Columbus, even though I spent many years there, I never completely escaped the feeling of being an outsider. I never quite felt like I fit in, and fitting in is a pretty important thing for teens and young adults. I stayed in Columbus and struggled until the year 1983. During which time I worked many different odd jobs. I eventually graduated from Columbus Tech in 1982. I then, somewhat as an act of desperation, joined the Navy. This was because I just couldn't find the ideal job that I wanted. However, the Navy turned out to be quite a positive thing; possibly because I'd had that military "stuff" pretty well ingrained into me, though I never would have admitted it during those days. The Navy put me in quite a lot of new places and situations. I learned a lot about how people, both in the USA and abroad thought and lived, to a depth that I don't think I'd ever have experienced had I stayed a civilian. All of that really did give me a more solid sense of myself. I felt like I fit into the group that I was cast into in the Navy. I was successful at getting a BS degree in Electronics Technology during my time in the military. Today I've gone even a little further, and completed some work towards an MBA. After getting out of the active duty Navy (in 1987) I continued to drill as a Naval Reservist, of which I still am a participant. I could retire now, but I enjoy it and expect that I'll continue for at least a few more years. The reason that I moved to Michigan, was to accept a position with Detroit Edison, an electric utility. I was in Michigan for 20 years and loved it. There's plenty of great things there including some pretty great lakes. I also love my job. I was married for 9 years from 1993 to 2002. I went through a divorce (for the 2nd time). Maybe even today, after 34 years, I still have some longings to be a genuine part of my old High School crowd (the one that I never quite fit in with). Maybe subconsciously still there's a part of me trying to trying to squeeze into that picture. Hey, don't we continually try to resolve the conflicts of our youth? Isn't that a psychological rule? (to be continued....)
Mike Taylor, October 2004
I revised the (above) story a little again and this one too. Sounds even better to me now. Now its 2004 and I missed the party this summer. After I finish this I'm going to look around the web site and see if there's pictures of everyone at the celebration. We just built a house and moved in only two weeks ago Hey, its a great experience (though painful at times), building a house to your own plans. I recommend it! But anyway that's why we didn't make it to the reunion this summer (2004). Yes I said we. OK, I took the plunge once more (the 3rd time's the charm, right). A married a lovely lady (Claudia) who keeps me happy. I wish all of my classmates (you) happiness too and I hope that you resolve all of your internal conflicts. I am always interested in hearing from anyone from way back in the 1970s. Sincerely, Mike,
Now its 2008; I'm writing this from Kuwait. I am a mobilized Navy Reservist performing Customs Inspections on US military personnel and equipment. I have been here for over 3 months now. I left home in July last summer and trained for three months prior to my arrival here. My sweet darling wife waits at home for me. Despite the initial shock, I have found this to be a most blessed experience. Its quite an incredible adventure to say the least. I have a very large amount of things to be thankful for; and I confess that this is a relatively not so dangerous place; relative that is to Afghanistan or Iraq. This is one of the locations where it seems everyone comes to interact with US troops. In the past few months we have seen, Robin Williams, Lance Armstrong, Miss America, country stars Neal Mccoy, Aaron Tippett, The Dallas Cowboy and Washington Redskin Cheerleaders, Golf Star Tom Watson, Actress Scarlett Johansson, Kid Rock, General Colin Powell, Condelisia Rice, and the Commander in Chief himself among others, so we're not at all without entertainment! Within the next month or so I will travel to Qatar for about a week for a period of R&R. Despite the good we also get our share of gloom, as stories abound from the other regions, and we constantly are in contact with military personnel moving in and out of the areas where tragedy is all too constantly present. I ask for each of your prayers, especially for them. We have not been without tragedy here as well (admittedly on a much lower scale) as we lost a "shipmate" (yes we're still Navy and we do consider our own as shipmates) recently here in Kuwait. About, three more months to go I expect, Though I will sincerely never regret coming here, I do miss my wife, family and friends and am looking very much forward to coming home!
Yours truly, Mike Taylor, January 2008
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