October 15, 2001 Monday, October 1, 2001 was an immense day for my husband John L Wyatt II and I. We had decided to continue our education, by pursuing a college degree. Many questions face us at this point, the main one was which school can we afford? What type of degree would we purse? Plus, the cost of living in Hawaii, "The Land of the Lavish"ÃÂ, was not cheap. We both had about $30,000 to $60,000 in the Montgomery G. I. Bill, but would this be enough? Countless years had passed since we both had been in a classroom, other than military schools, and it would prove to be a great challenge. High School for me was very easy, unlike for my husband John, who graduated in summer school his senior year. Second, to being married on the 16th of March 1998 in Jacksonville Florida, we would now struggle together once again to improve ourselves.
Thursday, October 28, 1976, in a small rustic town on the eastern coastal plain of North Carolina is where I, Angel Le-Nise Blount, was born. In a substandard community of about 3,500 people at that time, but embellished with a prosperous ocean and fertile soil. The main job industry in my town was commercial fishing and crop farming. Land farming did not appear to be a job fit for a woman. Caucasian people mostly hired the Mexicans to farm, since they owned most of the farmland, and could pay them a lesser amount with no benefits.
I was the elder of two children, born to Denise Blount of North Carolina and Willie N. Blount of New York. Dan is what my father called her, worked at the local nursing home as a nurse's aid, sometimes working 60 to 70 hours a week over the past six years. The 44-year-old mother has seven sisters, one brother, and was very strict on me growing up. Mostly due to the fact she was raped when she was a teenager. Looking at my mother is like looking at me, but not me, an older version with glasses. She is deeply rooted in her way of life and traditions. Her hair, as thick like wool, slightly tinted of a sandy brown, but not just any sand. Sand so divine, that it could only be found on the vast desert floor of Africa. The only difference that stood between mother and daughter in a crow of people, was the 1975 coke bottle glasses that hung off the tip of her pencil like nose and a black mole, that embraced her left cheek.
Willie, my father or better know as Nat, was no toad. During his senior year of high school he was voted best looking, prom king and home coming king. Now a 44-year-old man, he stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighting at least 185 lbs. A thick charcoal black beard was on his face, at all times. His skin complexion was as smooth and lightly colored as freshly cooled cocoa on a cold winters night. One might never catch him with his tattered hock imbedded fishing hat off, due to the fact he was balding with old age. The youngest of his eight brothers and sisters, but full of family values he demanded respect. Most of them were half brothers and sister but he still treated them like family. Nat, my father was the local card shark and had tried his hand at commercial fishing. Now this was a profitable living, in the summer months but winter brought a drought of seafood unlike mankind has ever seen at times. The hours were extensive and the work was very exhausting, with little to none benefits, except for a paycheck at the end of the long week.
With lack of attention from my mother, due to the fact my brother was diagnosed with sick-a-cell, I grew closer to my father. He instilled hard work in three key important words to me: Honor, Courage and Commitment. Idea's that where instilled in him when he was in the US Army, many moons ago. With these important values, on Tuesday 21st of August 1995, I joined the United Stated Navy. Reluctant at first of being owned by my "Uncle Sam"ÃÂ, I soon was forced to adapt and sir come to military life style.
Being stationed in Florida was a dream come true for me, it not only gave me opportunity to grow as a person but the distance I wanted from my family, with more than 582 miles between us. After joining the military as a cook, I was getting bored with my navy life style. Being in a training command, I did not get the opportunity to cook, or for the most part step foot in a galley. My day's where filled with being the Command Master Chief's secretary. Shortly after, I them moving up to Executive's Officers secretary and part time Physical Training assistant. That is when I decided to changes my career path and purse a life as a yeoman. Half way through my exciting Naval career as an airman then seaman at VFA-106, I meet John L. Wyatt II, for the first time. He seemed to be an arrogant guy who stood about 5 feet 9 inches, with a deep southern act cent. Popular with the lady, it was not long before I lured him into my web of love, devotion and understanding. After an intense courtship over two years, we determined it was time to jump the broom. John was no more than twenty-six, when I married him, but the time was right. Soon we moved into our own one bedroom apartment, in the suburbs of Jacksonville and our lives began to flourish. With the arrival of our one-year anniversary we were blessed with various gifts. A new motorcycle for my spouse and a new car for me, but all good things come at a price. For, I had longed feared the penalties was more than my husband or I could tolerate, so along came the news of his grandfather passing. Through many obstacles we surpassed the grief and grew together, making our family bond stronger than before.
Three months after the funeral, Trevall, Johns bother, Channel his wife and Recquan their son, moved from South Carolina to Florida with hopes of starting a better life. With in a six month time period, both Travael and Channel, had promising job, and moved out into there own apartment, on the Westside of Jacksonville.
Time was vastly passing us by, as our military careers seem to be moving even faster, two year had passed. It was time for us to move away from our friends and family, to begin a journey that would take us half way around the world. Unable to get orders to Hawaii, I ended my naval career to follow my husbands' dreams.
For two days we traveled, originating in Virginia Beach, Virginia, but on the 24th of August 1999, we had reached our final destination of Honolulu, Hawaii. Things could not be better for the two of us until, we get the news that John would be leaving the island in 10 days to Japan. For this information posed a new problems for us, being that we did not even have housing yet. Day seven was approaching and we where moving into housing, out side of Pearl Harbor, but without our household possessions. With the dawn of a new day came a phone call, our cargo was on its way. It seemed that our struggles were submersing for a new way of life to begin.
The five-month deployment passed for John and I quickly, but it was the first, of many to come, that we would be separated, due to military obligations. With the reuniting of husband and wife many promises where made. The most important was to further our education, so after the military we would not have to be separated again. Little did we know, we would make this promise come true on October 1, 2001, when we started taking classes from Chaimade University.