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January is a month full of memories

January has been the month that most of the exciting, life-changing events happened in my life. 

On January 11, 1964, I was elected by the people of St. John to represent the parish as their State Representative. It was an honor for which I will be forever grateful. 

When President Eisenhower was sworn in as the 34th president of the United States on January 20, 1953, I was sworn into the U.S. Navy. Both of our terms were for four years. That was the only thing we had in common.

The morning I left for the Navy, my mom woke me up, as usual, with a cup of coffee.  We didn’t have a car so my dad borrowed my grandfather’s car to drive me to the airport. 

As I was getting ready to board the plane for San Diego, California (which was my first flight) to begin 12 weeks of Boot Camp, my dad hugged me, told me he loved me, and with tears in his eyes, asked me to please not get a tattoo.  That’s the only reason I’m tattoo-free today.

After arriving and finally getting settled in my rack at 2 a.m., I went to sleep and was already homesick. At 4:30 a.m., the Chief Petty Officer, with a loud voice, kept repeating, “Reveille! Reveille!  It’s time to get up!”  I thought, “What have I done?  Only yesterday my mom woke me up with a cup of coffee!”       

That day was the longest day of my life. I stayed in line all day to receive my military clothes.  I was given a serial number, 499-2311.  As I went to bed that night, I remember thinking, “It’s one day at a time.  I only have three years and 364 days left.”

I decided to quit drinking on January 25, 1974.  That date is easy to remember, because it’s the day my good friend, Gene Duhe, celebrates his birthday.

On the second Sunday in October 1980, after six-and-a-half years of sobriety, I was asked to speak at a church on the evils of alcohol and illegal drug addiction.  I had always attended church regularly, believed in God, but didn’t have a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus. That was the day I made a decision to repent and invited Jesus into my heart and be my Savior.  I was then a born-again Christian.

Getting sober wasn’t easy, but risking the fact that I could destroy my family and with God’s help, I will celebrate 47 years of sobriety this month. 

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, or call 985-652-8477.