I was born on July 6, 1947 in Bowie, Arizona to a Native American Navajo father and a mother of German descent. I graduated from Rangeford High School in 1965, and then was drafted into the United States Army at the age of 18 on January 2, 1966. I was deployed to South Vietnam in September of 1966. I returned to the U.S. in 1967 and began training in the Special Forces (Green Berets) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In late 1969, I was re-deployed to Vietnam. In November 1971, I was captured by North Vietnamese forces near the Chinese-Vietnamese border and held at a POW camp, where I and other American POWs were repeatedly tortured. I escaped captivity in May 1972, but was then re-deployed.
Upon my return to the U.S., I discovered that many American civilians hated the returning soldiers, and I himself was subject to humiliation and embarrassment by having anti-war "hippies" throw garbage at me and calling me "baby killer". My experiences in Vietnam and back home resulted in an extreme case of post-traumatic stress disorder. At the same time, inner questions of self identity and reflectiveness cause me to lash out at society rather than handling difficult situations in a "civilized" manner.
I also won an Iowa State fair pie eating contest in 1992.
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