I grew up spending most of my life in Central Florida. After graduating from Oakridge high school, I joined the military attending infantry basic training at Fort Benning Georgia. I then attended the J.C. Stone Police Academy in Orlando Florida. Everything always seemed to have different endings than what I had anticipated.
Prepared for what?
I was one of those people who believed in “Being Prepared “. Always trying to prepare for some major weather anomaly or civil unrest event that would force me to go into survival mode.
I hoarded MRE style food supplies. Kept copies of survival books covering map reading and survival tactics. Emergency first aid and survival shelter information and collected several firearms chambered in military calibers thinking that if a disaster struck, I would be prepared with common easy to find or repair equipment.
Living the life of a prepper
Serving as a local deputy sheriff and member of the Florida National Guard, I stayed in shape jogging, rucksack walking and going to the gym. Exercise was the way I chose to blow off steam versus going out drinking. I had served in Miami during Hurricane Andrew and saw how quickly those events can change you life.
As life progressed, I got older and not much wiser in dealing with the everyday life. Loosing friends and family to medical issues, crimes, accidents and suicides. I had seen what substance abuse could do and vowed to stay ready and prepare should that day come when I would need to defend myself, family and friends.
I educated myself in survival tactics. I trained to be sharp and proficient for that disaster we all dread so much. Then just after Christmas 2017 it struck. It wasn’t the dreaded storm or vicious criminals coming to raid and loot my home. It was the one disaster that I never prepared for or even saw coming it was a DIVORCE. My life experiences always had different endings than what I had prepared for.
How is that the “Doomsday” you ask? The doomsday we experience can be that important unforeseen event that you weren’t prepared for. Simply put, it changes your life as you know it! In my case it caught me with depleted savings while tending to my variation of family and caring for my version of a pet rescue. At the time of my divorce I was caring for 12 dogs and 12 cats that I had taken in and given forever homes to fifty pets since 2005.
My pets and wife were the things I held most dearest to my heart. The reasons that I got up in the morning and would do anything for if forced to to defend and protect them. Even though there was warning signs, I was asleep at the wheel and never saw it coming.
Turning a blind eye
I was working midnight shift as a Security Officer at a local Community College and several incidents should have woken me up to the possibilities. On one particular midnight shift I stumbled on a young female college student sleeping on the sidewalk behind our parking garage. She was covered up with all of her belongings trying to stay warm and escape the bugs.
She was simply trying to get an education to better herself. Not looking for hand outs or crying how society was holding her back. She was trying to deal with life as it came at her on her own terms. With the help of a caring supervisor we relocated the student to a woman’s shelter with the hopes that everything would improve for her.
Everyone has different endings
Another evening it was a young exchange student asleep in a closed school hallway because his car broke down on campus property and their was no relatives or friends available to get him until daylight.
I even had a coworker and military veteran who was sleeping in her car on property. She did so because she lived several counties away while attending day classes. These are people that were doing what they needed to in order to survive.
It doesn’t have to be the storms of 2018. The Ferguson police riots or any of the many mass shootings that uproot your life. It could be as simple as any life changing event. A court order by the judge that you and your “stuff” need to be out in 30 days or else.
A new plan off the cuff
I had to initiate my escape plan. I scrambled to sell my motorcycle, guns, supplies and all of my worldly goods. Just so I could hold whats left of my life together. I ended up liquidating everything due to not having room for it. I found myself heading out west toward the San Luis Valley. It is one of Colorado’s poorest regions. I ended up getting a room in a mobile home with family and friends. They have some how have survived by mining rocks and using metal detectors to find old coins and stuff.
Adapt to survive
Somehow they have managed to pull it off and make a meager living for themselves. All of those lavish amenities I once had are gone. My kitchen stove now is a two burner Coleman camp kitchen. Well water instead of city water, battery powered lights and WIFI shared from the landlords residence three acres away. The roads are dirt instead of asphalt and everything is covered in dust.
My new life entails every morning getting up, going out to feed my dogs and having my coffee in the one cup I saved from a 12 year relationship. Now I get to see this great country’s wonderful Rocky Mountains. I always remember that the one event that could make you the guy sleeping under the overpass in survival mode is always right around the corner.
Stay safe, healthy and always be prepared my friends and plan for different endings than what you prepare for. Be sure to follow our blog for more informative stories.