This will be news to those that have not followed me for quite a while, but for those who has been swapping emails with me for longer than a year already know things about me.
Just to bring everyone to the same sheet of music, lets do some history.
When I came out of the Army in 1989, I was one of a multitude of homeless vets with service connected injuries. Some people have support networks in place, others, well others have to do what they can to survive. While I have not always made the BEST choices in life, I have continued to choose to continue my life. (sometimes it was a close call) Where am I going with this? I was living in the woods of a county park with two tents, one was home, the other was a closet.
I broke into a someones home and stole food (some wine as well) and a pistol. I got a job a week or so later, of all places in a mall working security. It was a job that would only last about five months as while I was at work a guy that was staying out in the woods with me for a few days found the pistol (A Ruger .22) and decided that he needed to be a dumbass and fired a few rounds getting the attention of a jogger. The State Police had to bring in three cruisers to haul my little campsite away. Imagine my surprise when I got home in the middle of the night to find the camp gone… I ended up sleeping in one of the empty storage units under the mall, and got caught. The situation was reported to the chief. He referred me to one of the little Honduran gals down in the food court as she had a room for rent. Â It wasn’t a full month later of phone tag, that the county sheriff’s department figured out where I was. Funny thing about living in the woods with all of your military records and uniforms (remember I was just trying to live, not sneak) that they are able to figure out your identity in a hurry. Â When they dropped by the mall to see me, they really enjoyed the fact that the only difference between my uniform and theirs was the badge, gun, and the stripe on my pants was twice the width of theirs. The humor was not lost on me while I was cuffed in Â their office.
So, I sat in the detention center in the same cell that would later house one Michael Tyson, playing cards, watching TV, and eating indescribable hotdogs withÂ kerosene-kraut. They charged me with Burglary with Theft Over. When it came time to go before the judge, the DA made me an offer that I could not refuse (or face up to twenty years as it was a night time burglary). I was given a once in a lifetime deal of Probation Before Judgement (PBJ). With PBJ if you complete the probation, pay the fine (and recently, do a little county lockup time (30 days or so)) then the court will have your records expunged. Legally you never have to admit that the arrest ever happened, let alone the court appearance. Â So I had a year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and twelve years later found out about a 110 fine/fee. Had I stayed in Maryland for the duration of the probation, things would have been a bit easier.
I called my mother for Thanksgiving and discovered that she had a heart attack and wanted me back in Vancouver to take care of my sister (11 at the time) in case anything happened to her. So I called my PO and asked what I could do since I was not permitted to leave the state. The State of Washington was kind enough to accept the transfer of my probation. I went to Andrews Air Force base and caught a Lear jet to Colorado Springs and from there a Greyhound to Vancouver. I finished out my probation and put it out of my mind for several years.
I had a problem crossing the border into Canada, seems that the FBI/Interpol records (or where ever they pull your criminal files from) showed my arrest, but nothing forÂ adjudication. Â I was able to finesse my way into Canada on a one time pass. However I was aware that there was a problem with my legal situation. When I got home, I called Maryland and found out about a fee/fine that had yet to be paid. Boom, done fixed that with a quick money order. About six months later I received a few letters confirming expungment of the documents and certification of completion of the courts wishes.
A couple of years ago, I went to buy my son his first rifle and was denied at the federal background check. barooo? A couple of days ago, I was reminded of the rifle purchase so I emailed an address I found for the Washington State Patrol dept of records. Â Tomorrow I will fax all of the documents I have and see if they will be able to restore the records to their rightful status.
While I was going through the documents, I found a familiar name. They were processed with the County Sheriff being Charles Moose. I had to laugh about that connection. It was however about four months before the DC Sniper opened fire. (perhaps another post about how close the sniper his to my various residences.)
With any luck, I will have another (much shorter) add on to this post soon. Wow 945 words. sorry all, sorta.