The first time I shot someone, I was four years old. It was an accident.

My mother had no real use for me; she would continuously dump me off at my grandparents' ranch whenever she had a new boyfriend. Living with my grandparents went on for months or even years at a time.

My experiences included my terrible home life as a child, the accidental shooting in my grandpa's shanty, and then being sent off to military school as a result at age five. It was more like going to a prison or mental ward run by the scary and oppressive Nurse Ratched.

Sending me away to military school was my mother's idea; no one else’s. No tears ran down her face, just mine. My grandmother blamed my grandfather for the shooting accident by leaving his shanty door unlocked, where he kept his hunting guns that I could reach.

If anyone had bothered to ask me how I felt, well, I would say I was terrified! But nobody asked. I was left alone. I felt isolated.

It was the summer of 1951 at John Brown Military School, a drowning accident in the pool, and I was declared dead. What happened to me while I was unresponsive and the twenty minutes before being resuscitated, is the key to my life's story.

The truth is, that was only the first of my near-death experiences. There were almost forty more times over the years that I would look death square in the face. You stop being afraid of it when you face the Grim Reaper as many times as I have. 

It’s not that I think I am immortal, I know I'm not. There is a better place to be and one day, I will be home with my Lord and Savior in Heaven. The terrain of life that I had to navigate was quite treacherous at times, yet necessary for me to have the right aspirations and morals. Now, as I get closer to the end of my life, it makes perfect sense. It is all about the big picture, and sometimes that only comes with time and experience.

My life in police work and specials operations was never an easy one. We risked our lives to fight the war on drugs and to combat criminal activities in our society using new techniques and advances in law enforcement. In spite of it all, the courts set criminals free to re-offend. 

On the other hand, death by the cartels or street criminals is not a very pleasant alternative, so we continue the good fight. Everyone needs to stay vigilant and challenge the criminal elements of our justice system. Do not fear death as the end, for it is not. I hope you enjoy reading about me and my extraordinary life on the edge. God Bless you all.

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