Throughout a person's life, it only seems natural that copious amounts of information are stored in one's cranium. Stored in parts of the brain that scientists don't yet understand, the memories lie dormant, deliberately hibernating, until for some unknown reason, they bounce into our thoughts. Almost like that song that you heard the other day, and can't get out of your head, no matter how hard you try.
My father, John Jack Jergensen, has one such memory. Although I heard the story many years ago, it still hangs on - like a mother to child. The story seems so bazaar, mainly because it involved my father. After all, sometimes it's difficult for us to believe that our parents were young once too, doing crazy things, perhaps even crazier things than we do ourselves. But they weren't always old and gray, and they weren't born that way either. Their present condition is the direct result of 'Father Time,' too much work, and worrying in hope that their children will come out better than they did.
The story begins almost thirty years ago in the Summer of 1973. My father was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and had just arrived back in the United States from the island of Okinawa. He was originally supposed to go to Vietnam, but like many others in his group, his orders were changed at the last minute and he spent a year on the small island which is located about ninety miles from Japan. Here, he said his unit spent most of its time going on twenty five mile hikes and trying to remain combat ready. The times were hard but they were also having a lot of fun.
After arriving back in the United States, he was stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina...