The other day the GF and I were riding around and The Class of 57 by the Statler Brothers came on the radio. I guess we both kinda drifted off in our own thoughts. I started thinking about my dreams when i graduated in 85. I suppose that GF done the same thing.
After the song was over GF asked me if i thought i had lived a fulfilling life and if i was happy. I smiled and looked her in the eyes and said "Of course i am happy, why do you ask?" she replies "i was just wondering if you had fulfilled your dreams"
I cocked my head to the side and thought about it for a bit. I said " I guess i didn't fulfill my high school dream of being a professional cowboy but i have had an interesting life" She says" What made your life so interesting?"
So i explain. Whether or not a persons lives a fulfilling life is a matter of perspective. What i consider fulfilling you may not. To me it has been. I am 41 years old and have been to 32 states and 22 countries.
I have lived in Italy and toured Europe and the middle east. I have walked the 14 stations of the cross, seen the manger where Christ was born, the church where He performed his first miracle, the river He was baptised in and the place where He was crucified.
I flew over the Swiss Alps in a decompressed military POS, traveled to England by ferry, train, plane and double decker bus. I have pissed on the Eiffel Tower and almost died in Beaumont Ser Mair, where they filmed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
I have seen the Mediterranean Sea as smooth as a sheet of glass. I have sailed through the Realm of the Arctic Circle and been on top of the world.
I have seen the Gladiator Stadium in Athens Greece and passed out from Ouzo in Athens. I have been on all the continents and have visited government run whore houses in Turkey.
I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and snorkeled in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea. I have swam in all bodies of water surrounding CONUS and two of the Great Lakes. I have ridden a boat through the Sault ST. Marie locks.
I have been shot, stabbed, cut and hit with a bull whip. I have ridden bulls and bronchs and did a little roping.
I have found God, totally ignored him when he cramped my style and found him again. Now i try to live my life to serve him.
I have tried almost every drug out there and was addicted to Heroin and Hash for a while. I have watched as a best friend almost died in my arms from an overdose and i never saw him again after they flew him to Naples Italy.
I stood behind another best friend when he was wrongly convicted by a Mississippi court. I'm not saying he was innocent, but he got convicted of a crime he didn't commit. He did get it appealed a few years later.
I have looked a man square in the eyes and lied about the relationship between his wife and myself. Back then i didn't have a problem with it, now i think it is repulsive.
I have been locked in a burning compartment on a Naval ship where a human life is expendable and will be sacrificed to save the ship. It was put the fire out or die trying. I have extricated dead bodies from automobile accidents and performed CPR for 45 minutes on a 16 year old girl in Fritch TX in the middle of the highway. Her Father was driving to work and came up on us doing CPR on his little girl. The Chief of Police asked if we would help contain her Father if he went after the other driver. I told the Chief i wouldn't do shit to stop him and wouldn't see a damn thing. That fucker had it coming in my opinion.
I have had an employee arrested, charged, tried and walked for killing his 7 week old baby. They said they didn't have enough evidence. I told a Texas Ranger to dig up her body. That should be evidence enough. He didn't like me after that.
I have taught doctors and nurses CPR and countless others. I had one of my classes make the evening news. I have failed people in those classes because they were lazy or stupid. You either do it or don't. Its pass or fail. No middle ground.
I have fought against Marines in countless bars overseas, and then beside them when the locals started trouble. I have gotten drunk in Burger King too many times to count. It is hard to beat a Whopper and a Heineken. I have eaten God knows what overseas and in Louisiana. I can not stand the taste of Camel or Mutton.
I have seen The Rock of Gibraltar, sailed the Straits of Gibraltar, Seen the Suez Canal, the Pyramids in Egypt, Buckingham Palace, The White House, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Roman Coliseum, The Vatican, the running of the bulls in Spain, and on two continents at one time (Turkey).
I was there when we killed Muammar al-Gaddafi's (Kaddafi) daughter and was at the Wailing Wall minutes before a Palestinian grenade attack.
I have married and buried my best friend, my wife. I have seen a lot of things only Veterans would understand and been places most people only dream about. I believe that i have lived a fulfilling life and wouldn't change anything. My experiences have helped define who i am and what i believe. In 41 years i have experienced a lot. I can only dream of what the next 40 years will be like.