As a public service, I must warn you

I have received numerous accounts of people who, upon starting to read THE LIFE & TIMES OF AN INCORRIGIBLE, have been unable to put it down.

Other side effects such as laughing out loud in public and crying intermittently have also been reported.

Since this book is available online almost everywhere, in Kindle, Nook, Hardcover, and Paperback, please see this information receives the widest dissemination possible.

Thank you for your time.


…about last week on LZ Jerry


Thursday morning, when I woke at the butt crack of dawn, I felt pretty good. After the first pot of coffee I felt even better. Not to let this great start to the day go to waste, I decided to change the water filters.

It is a pretty easy and quick task so I determined it would be a good place to start my productive day.

That’s about the time everything started to go to shit.

I changed the filters, and then checked for leaks. The gauge showed the water pressure dropping but there was no leak at the filters.

My first thought was I must have left a faucet turned on. I started to go through the CP (Command Post) trying to find the source of the problem. As I went into the bathroom I heard the unmistakable sound of water spraying out, not from the sink, but from the water heater.

I ran to the breaker box and shut down the power to the well pump and luckily the water heater was already off. After closing the water shut off valve I went to inspect the damages.

The water heater is inside a small enclosure which prevented the heater from spraying water everywhere.  What I found was a rusted out water heater that just decided it was a good time to die.

As I inspected the tag it said; manufactured in 1992.

OK, that makes sense now. I never bothered to check it before. This is my fault.

I thought the best thing to do is go online and get prices and availability.

I turned on my computer and watched it boot up and then become totally unresponsive. About eight hours and a clean install later it was functioning but none of my backups, rescue disc, or anything else worked.

I figured it was time to call it a day. I still had water since there was a cutoff to the water heater.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Friday morning, after a much needed pot of coffee, I called the local hardware chain store.

I was transferred to the plumbing section and talked to “the new guy” who was egger to help but totally clueless. After about thirty minutes and several “I’ll call you backs” I thought we were on the same page and was ready to purchase a heater and instillation of said item.

It was then I was told it would be Thursday or Friday before they could come out. The new guy said if I wanted an emergency install they could do it Monday or Tuesday but it would cost a lot more.

I’m usually pretty forgiving with someone new on the job, but by now, not so much. I had two more “call backs” and got a quote for “emergency install”. By now I just want this to be over.

I went to the store and asked for the new guy so I could make the purchase.

Seems he decided to go to lunch and no one had a clue what I was talking about.

Finally, at customer service they found an invoice.

As I got ready to pay I asked if that included everything and was assured it did.

Feeling somewhat relieved, I went home and began to try to restore my computer, which took me late into the night.

Saturday morning, after two pots of coffee, I was making progress on the computer thing when I got a call from the stores’ 800 number, telling me everything was a go and the installer would come out to see what he needed and they would pay for the pre-inspection.

OK, a little good news anyway. About a half hour later, the new guy called to tell me he couldn’t find an installer.

I just lost it. I explained to him that he needed to call the guy at the 800 number and get their shit straight and not to call me again until they do.

Since I didn’t get any more calls, after about an hour I tried to focus on other things that needed doing.

I don’t like to shave in cold water. In fact I really don’t like shaving so I had not shaved in four days and was in need of a haircut. When I looked in the mirror, I was looking so scary, I scared myself.

Sunday morning I felt things were looking up. To tell the truth, I really didn’t do much of anything but grill some meat and drink a few beers.


Monday I got the call I was waiting for. The installer wanted to come out in the afternoon. I told him; hell yeah!

Everything went well and he said he would try to be back tomorrow to do the install.

Tuesday rolled around and my beard was working on day seven. I felt like Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway.

Then, the phone rang. It was a lady from the hardware store. She informed me that I needed to pay them another six hundred and some odd dollars. I already paid almost six hundred for the heater & parts.

I will not go into all the gory details, but I told them what they could do with their water heater.

After I had a chance to calm down, I realized there was only one option. I’m not a plumber, but I am an Infantryman. That qualifies me to do almost anything.

Wednesday morning I woke up the fuckin rooster and started looking for a deal on a water heater. By late afternoon I had come to the conclusion I would need to go and physically look at them.

I got what I needed to install it and bought one. It was late afternoon when I got home and decided to wait until the morning. I figured taking the old one out and putting the new one in would take an hour or two but I wanted to give myself plenty of time. Murphy’s Law.

Thursday morning and I am burned out but determined. I now have a full beard and really need a haircut. My dogs don’t seem to mind so why should I?


Things I already knew, are taking on a new meaning like: a fifty gallon heater is heavy when it’s full of water. I got the old heater unhooked and found I needed to completely redo the system.

With a little ingenuity I managed to get the old heater drained without flooding the house and removed it. After only four more trips to the hardware store I was able to get the new heater in and re-plumbed with no leaks. It only took about eight hours to do that one hour job.

Turning on the water and not having water squirting everywhere was the high point of my week!

The second best is having my computer working again.

Again I have proven what I have always known; if you’re Infantry, you can do anything.


Life is always good on LZ Jerry!


When you have spent your entire life living on the edge it is hard to accept the fact that you are not there anymore.  Self-perception is a bitch. You look in the mirror and you see who you were, not who you are.


As I write this I am looking at a pair of hands that I don’t recognize anymore. They are the hands of an old man. They are not the hands with smooth skin, easily discernible scars from teeth marks around the knuckles, and the knife scars on the backs that I remember. The ones’ that I remember so well have changed. The scars are still there but they are harder to see now through the wrinkled skin. Then reality hits home through my beer-induced haze. I am an old man.


Author’s Note

I try to remember that all the shoulda-woulda-coulda-did’s in the world will never make a damn bit of difference in my life.


I write from my life experiences and I don’t believe that my life should be portrayed in elegant prose. My life has never been elegant. My stories and the words I use to describe events are written as I would tell them to you if we were having a conversation.




How arrogant must we be, to believe that just because the sun comes up in the morning we will be there to see it?

We are each allocated a finite number of sunrises; it is our responsibility to insure they are used well.

If you woke up alive this morning you have been given another chance to get it right.

Don’t fuck it up…


Are you likely to enjoy reading this book?

If you are a book reader, and read and enjoyed the books Catch-22 or The Revolt of Gunner Asch, there is a real good chance you will like my last book.

When you read The Life & Times of an Incorrigible, you have to understand my sense of humor. The stories are true but the way the story is told, conveys the attitude and perception of the person telling the story, at the time it happened.


I have had people describe the book as funny, sad, and sometimes profound.

If you have enjoyed my Tweets, book excerpts, and other stories, then there is a good chance you will like my book.

There are reviews on Amazon you can read, and the book is available in several formats; Hardcover, Paperback (2 versions), Kindle & Nook Book.

Please visit my website

Oh, and I like dogs…


“The Life and Times of an Incorrigible” Readers Comments

…It’s a great read. I recommend it to everyone on Twitter

I received “The Life and Times of an Incorrigible” today. It is great. I couldn’t put it down…

…You really have a gift for making a person feel like they are right there with you when you write. I know that I have never actually met you, but I can see your face when you tell someone basically, “too late, I already did that”. I really, really enjoyed your book…

…It sounds like you and I could have been twins, the BB gun wars brought back quite a few long forgotten times…

“Life & Times of an Incorrigible” Did it in two days. Good, good, book couldn’t put it down…

…Your book allows the rest of us the opportunity to live life through your eyes…edge of the envelope without getting cut…

…I read your book and I’m surprised you came out alive.

…It is wonderful. I laughed out loud so much my granddaughter thinks I am crazy. It made me cry, I’m really sorry about your Emy. I know I have never actually heard your voice, but I swear Jerry I could “hear” you throughout that book. I cannot tell you what a wonderful storyteller you are…It really is a great book!!!

…Man! That was crazy jumping off that boulder in the middle of the night. Pursuit motivates…

…Imagine sitting in a bar and listening to an old soldier tell you about his life. That’s what this book is. It’s funny, sad and profound. Toward the end of the book, Jerry tells us: “In the end, my greatest regret is to never have risen above mediocrity.” He is so wrong. I really enjoyed his story.


Spring has sprung on LZ Jerry

There has been the typical “Good Infantry Weather” here at LZ Jerry for the last few days, cold, wet, drizzle, and fog. Today however, a change has come.


It started yesterday afternoon with an abundance of sunshine and, although cool, a clear blue sky. As I followed the sentry dogs on the afternoon perimeter sweep around Lake Jerry, I noticed that the frogs have also determined it is spring. There will be tadpoles everywhere in Lake Jerry very soon.

A sentrydog

This morning I saw the first rabbit out in the front yard eating the freshly sprouting green grass. I am sure this will also bring the hordes of bugs of all shapes and sizes, to include my all time favorite, the Georgia Gnat; The official bug of Fort Benning.

To top off all this grand gesture of nature, the pollen has also arrived, much to the detriment of my eyes, nose, and throat.

This time of year, up in the mountains I so dearly love, the pollen becomes overwhelming. My eyes water, my nose runs, my throat feels as if it is clogged with it, and it also affects my ability to breathe.

I know there are medications to counteract these symptoms but I just don’t like taking any kind of medicine.

All this is a small price to pay for the joy of feeling the hot sun on my skin. I do love this time of year. Watching the brown landscape turn a vibrant green, soon to be dotted with white dogwood flowers and the blue, yellow, orange, red and purple of all the other competing entries in nature’s collage.


I realize that soon the cool mornings and the warm days will turn to the almost unbearable heat of the Georgia summer, but even that is a welcome change from the cold of winter.

Life is good on LZ Jerry! Or as I like to say; It just don’t get no better!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s beer thirty…

A Short Story; A day in the jungle

Its 0400 hours.

I don’t even need an alarm clock anymore. How long have I been doing this? I’m thirty four years old. I think I may be getting too old for this shit.

Don’t turn on the light. Don’t want to wake up the family. I have to be at the classroom at 0500 hours to brief the lieutenant on today’s patrol.

Coffee! Got to have some coffee or I can’t make it through the day. At least that’s what my brain is telling me.

0430 hours I am still on time. It only takes about ten minutes to get there on my bicycle. I never thought I would be riding a damn bicycle to work, especially at my age.

One hundred percent humidity, light rain, typical start to the day during the rainy season here in Panama. The funny thing is I don’t really think about it much anymore. I will be wet for the next twelve to eighteen hours anyway.

I’m the first one here, as usual. That must be the platoon leader and platoon sergeant coming up the steps now.


I have been teaching here at the US Army Jungle Operations Training Center for almost three years now. I have been in the Jungle Warfare Branch since day one and would not have it any other way.

Sure the guys teaching at the NCO Academy have great hours and never go out in the jungle but I would go nuts doing that.

The other thing of course, is my problem of not playing well with others.

That’s why I love/hate my job of teaching jungle warfare. If I do my classes, patrols, turn in my twenty five page evaluation after each patrol, and never break the unwritten rule; don’t get anybody killed, I only have to see the boss once a month.

Since I teach the rappelling, vertical extraction, and helocasting, I always work with the training unit’s scout/recon platoons.


This is another thing I like about my job. Usually they are the best motivated and don’t get lost or injured as much, which makes my job easier. At the end of the cycle I will spend five to six days with them in the jungle.

This week however, it is the luck of the draw. It could be any platoon and today it’s not the scout/recon platoon.

Good morning sir. My name is Staff Sergeant Roberts from the S-2. Your platoon will be under the operational control of the S-2 for today’s mission…

Now that the briefing is over I check my watch and see it’s about 0550 hours. While the platoon leader issues his warning order I calculate I will have about an hour to go back to my quarters for some more coffee and a pop tart or something, and then get my cammo on.


If everything goes as planned we will start to get on the helicopters at about 1000 hours and the insertion should be complete by 1030-1045 hours.


That’s when all the variables start to kick in. I can usually tell, by now, how the patrols will go by how the training went during the rappel classes.

I train the entire battalion on the tower the first week, and then do helicopter rappelling with the scout/recon people and sometimes engineer detachments if they have them.

It’s funny how much can be learned about a group of people at a thirty four foot tower.

As I put on my war paint, I am thinking; another day in the jungle and never a dull moment.


My dog Dash

Summer morning 005dash

The day started out pretty much like any other day here at LZ Jerry.

The dogs made sure I was up in time to see the first light of day as I had my first cup of coffee. Something I had not expected was the cool weather for the last two days. It’s the middle of May, 41 degrees F, and that’s about 20 degrees lower than normal.

Dash, my Sheppard mix, likes the cold. She is a runner and loved it when I took her for my morning run of 2 miles every morning.

When we moved to LZ Jerry I stopped running, mainly because my knees told me to. Dash still remembers what an 8 minute paces is and as soon as she gets her leash on she is ready to run.

I am really glad my dogs can’t talk because I am sure I would receive a lot of verbal abuse about my running skills from Dash.

Admittedly I am not up to doing the runs I did just 5 years ago.

Today I felt pretty good after my second cup of coffee. The thought of getting out and enjoying the cool weather was starting to appeal to me.

Dash, when she wants something, dances around on her back legs, pushes me with her snout, and generally harasses me until she gets what she wants. This morning she wanted to run.

So I thought; what the hell, I’ll go for a walk and take the damn dogs so they leave me alone.

A sentrydog

I had on a sweatshirt, jeans, and combat boots. This was probably not the best choice but I planned to walk down the road to where the black top ends and it turns to a dirt road.

That just happens to be 1 mile.

Once the dogs saw me going for the collar for Mack, my black lab, and the harness for Dash, it just went downhill from there.


Mack is very well behaved and I never use a leash.

Dash, on the other hand, is a rescue dog and although she would never run away, she has a mind of her own.

Dash&Doc 002a

I realized almost immediately that this was not going to be a nice leisurely walk down the wooded road in the brisk clear morning.

My thought of placating Dash, who wanted to run, and was very insistent, by just running up the hill to the road, failed miserably. When I started to walk down the road she would have none of it.

This morning the dogs and I did our first 2 mile run/drag down the road. The score is dogs 1 Jerry 0. Next time I’ll be ready, I haven’t run in combat boots in more years than I want to think about.

Damn dogs, but ya just gotta love ’em.

Life is good on LZ Jerry!