a presidents son-LSD and the Navy !

jack carter-the presidents son

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Two guys the same age. Me and him.
We both share a tiny tidbit of something in common-a tidbit with a canyon of difference but yet a simularity that connects us like one of those rocks you see balancing on the pinnacle of another rock-just a small part of one connecting with the other.
We were both in the United States Navy about the same time. He was in schooling provided by the Navy and I was hopeful for the same thing.
Somewhere though the road takes a turn.
We were both discharged early from our service duty earlier than our alloted time for drugs.
Jack Carter admitted to his charges to ensure he got out…those are his words. I admitted to the charges to ensure I got out too…but I had admitted to the charges to ensure I might get out of barracks D,and out of fear.
Now there is a bigger difference. His charges were over the discovery of a large ammount of marijuana in the dormetory he shared with several other sailors and after being confronted with the charges Jack Carter added that he took LSD,in his words to ensure he got booted out of the Navy.
I wanted to be in the Navy.
My crime was being stationed with a brother who was jealous of his brother. I had-indeed-made an error in judgement…nothing earth shattering when you look at it,certainly nothing others had not tried before and took the chance. A simple bus ride to the Nations Capital-we did it all the time on the regular liberty bus,just one problem I did’nt foresee…and that was the snowstorm. In reality-I was AWOL,but yet I only had to be on ship and in crew to say ‘here’ and then my weekend pass was in effect…so when the bus reached the DC bus station I checked in with the military liason and did all the right things and was given the green light. They later sent my brother to personally arrest me.
I was accused of doing drugs. I had not once considered doing drugs-nor did I have any or any knowledge of any,however-they brought out that if it was discovered I had ever at anytime in my life done any kind of drug and they found this out…I would be sent to prison.
In the days before I enlisted…long before I knew I was going to be in the Navy I was at a gathering and someone popped a piece of paper in my mouth-it was LSD.
LSD was legally gotten in Washington DC-it was the origin of the term ‘head shops’ during the hippie days before it was made unlawful in 1967. Sandoz chemical company had laboratories a block off of DuPont Circle,I remember someone saying that the piece of paper was ‘sandoz’….a small piece of paper the size of a little tiny stamp from a dolls house-it was that small,but it had a punch and after I started following street lights which led me into the city and eventually kept me going for a few days,I was afraid my parents would find out.
I told my accusers about that night. Thats what got me placed in the detention barracks-barracks D.
I was’nt a drug abuser. I was only 18 years old and had only been drunk once-that was the day my baby brother was killed. I had only gone to the gathering with some other kids from my high school and as we entered the door to the party there was someone greeting us with these little pieces of paper. I think it happened all the time back then-unwitting LSD trips,given with out warning as to what you are taking.
So this one small bit of paper is what got me in trouble…if I knew all that I know now I could have kept my mouth shut and not confessed and things might have gone different-thats one of those things you’ll never know,but its most likely to be so.
I confessed to more than that after my body was attacked and assaulted in the way it was…I confessed because I was scared to death when they threatend me on the ship-and then again later when I had been raped and beaten and learned that no one was going to help me. I told them all they wanted to hear-and funny…re-reading the statements now are almost laughable because the things I said were so silly.
Jimmy Carters son confessed because he wanted to get out of the Navy…those are his words.
When Jimmy Carter became president he made a policy that all the guys that were given ‘general discharges’ for drug use in the military-because during the VietNam conflict they realized tons of guys in Nam were on heroin and smoking marijuana-even doing LSD,which is crazy to me…triping in a war?? So because of Carters son I suppose its why the president offered an amnesty and we could appeal to have are discharges upgraded. I appealed-wrote a letter honestly saying the truth…and it was denied. I still have the letter…and the denial. I did’nt realize until about two years ago that my DD214 discharge form says I recieved an ‘honorable discharge’….but my certificate clearly states ‘General under Honorable’ and that to me is a reflection of failure.
I do not honestly know anything about Jack Carter personally-he might be quite a guy…I don’t know. What I do know is that I found it offensive when he was running for senator of Nevada and he made his comments about his Navy discharge he seemed jocular about the whole experience and seemed to brush it off as a mistake an 18 year old kid could make. I don’t feel he suffered like I did,of course my place is not as a judge of him or his life or of anything he personaly has done-again,I don’t know anything about him….I just know the unfairness of the system of things in life…he admitted he had these drugs-and gets an upgrade on his discharge,a discharge he felt like doing nearly anything to get-just because he wanted out of the Navy.
I don’t know what happened to him when he was arrested-where ever they put him…was he safe,or did he go into harms way like I ended up in? I do sense he led a better life then I did. I don’t reckon he lost the favor of his family…nor do I believe he suffered from the post traumatic bizarre behavior that I trailed along behind-being homeless,being jobless-being afraid of personal contact…
It is also a funny thing-the evidence of his interest in his country. I recall reading that he had only just moved to Nevada a few years ago after living many years in Bermuda-or the Bahamas,certainly not in the continental USA…a fellow who lied to get out of the Navy because he wanted out,and he wanted to be senator?
I’ve stayed right here…only voted once-one time! That was for Jimmy Carter because he said he was going to offer the amnesty-I thought wow,heres a man I can trust,of course my lessons in trust keep getting smashed every time I begin a bond.
Two guys. One did something wrong and he shines. The other is accused…but did nothing on the scale that the other did,and he sits in shit most all of his life. Funny life!

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