The essence of being a warrior is to never quit on yourself.

That is my motto in life. You can say that it is a stupid motto and that’s fine … you can have your motto. That one is mine.

Hopefully, everyone can agree that ALL life mottos are completely meaningless when everything is going well … right now, my motto could just as well be something banal like “Push the snowball downhill; enjoy life; don’t ask a bunch of questions!” When you are happy with life, have nothing to prove and all’s well, it just does not really matter what your motto is.

BUT there will be times when your motto is all you have left [except for your faith, which is far more significant than any silly motto … faith is an entirely different dimension of the story.] Reminding yourself that you will not EVER quit is a particularly important habit to have when crap hits the fan, when you look around and realize you are completely alone … when EVERYONE has turned their back on you, when you are down and you realize that everything you believed in just a pile of devastating, toxic, radioactive BAGGAGE.

Some of the adjustments a person must make in life are not exactly easy, but they choices reveal themselves when you realize that the essence of being a warrior is to NEVER quit on yourself. When I was 20, the events on November 4th of 1979 that happened in Tehran Embassy pulled me away from two successful enterprises that occupied most of my time and another one that I was in the process of starting. I decided to go to college and get an engineering degree.

I was not the typical cannon fodder GI recruit, but if a hot war had been imminent in 1980, I would have looked for a more expeditious way to be of immediate service. I took an oath to support and defend our Constitution and became a Federal employee working in the intelligence and security realm; the first step on my path was being a engineering intern. I wanted to serve and fight with EVERY ability, skill and resource I had. My objective was to rapidly convert my entrepreneurial talents in agriculture and mfg into skills that would be valuable as an engineering advisor or technical specialist fighting alongside insurgents and freedom fighters

“When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.” — Chief Tecumseh:

I am no hero; I never thought of myself as a hero; I have always been extremely grateful for my life as an American citizen. I believed that it was my duty to prepare to fight and die as a warrior. Of course, I was damned scared by the world of intelligence and security that I was getting into. I was worried that maybe I would choke when it it came time to fight or perform but I felt service to my country was an honor and a privilege. I was both terrified AND ready to die.

I hoped that I would die honorably, nobly. I hoped my death would matter. I believed that it was more likely than not that I would never see my 30th birthday and that I would die advising freedom fighters in a war that my country could not acknowledge having any role in. I accepted the fate of an anonymous death and went about the process of preparing mentally and physically so that I would be able to do my duty when the time came without hesitating … I was too scared about what I was doing to talk about it with anyone and that did not serve any purpose, but I was ready to fight and die.

I was I was NOT at all ready for what actually happened or how the rest or the story took a devastating and disillusioning turn that made me believe that there are fates worse than an anonymous death.

What actually happened completely changed how I saw my life, how I saw my country … if I could do it over again, I would do exactly what I did [with fewer reservations and less second-guessing] but I have NEVER recovered from what happened. Only a couple years in, I learned something about how our government’s intelligence and security agencies get highjacked by rogue networks of professionals who operate within those agencies. Specifically, I am referring to how agents of our government worked with Mexican intelligence service and Gallardo crime syndicate to build the Sinaloa cartel and international weapons/finance empire.

You can probably guess how the story goes when you stand up and refuse to be part of the problem, those involved have ways of take everything from you SLOWLY. I was forced to resign. After that, I was taken into custody five times by the US Marshals, repeatedly interrogated and threatened. Out of custody I was harassed repeatedly with mail and phones calls, I was followed and the surveillance was deliberately clumsy in order to intimidate me.

Of course, I was also barred from continued service in intelligence and security. I was barred from military service, even as lowest-level enlisted grunt … that included the Coast Gaurd or any branch of the Reserves or National Guard. When I graduated from college, I applied to be a Peace Corps volunteer, imagining somehow that I could put the NSA’s Sinaloa Cartel operation behind me. The Peace Corps recruiters liked what they saw so they found an assignment for me knowing about my background. I even passed the initial intelligence screen, but before I began training for that assignment, a higher level CIA determination was made. In the end, I was denied the opportunity to serve in the Peace Corps because some CIA official labeled me as a severe national security threat.

The world can make you doubt yourself; people can trash your reputation and try besmirch your honor … there are those who will try to intimidate you with very specific, intensely credible threats … but they cannot take your soul. When I had started, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution and the US Constitution will always contains principles that will be worth fighting for, long after our government is gone.

It’s important for all of to remember that our souls are eternal … it does not matter if if you think you are ALL alone … when EVERYONE has turned their back on you, when you are down and you realize that all kinds of things that you used to believe are in just a pile of devastating, toxic, radioactive JUNK … at that point there is nothing left but the essence of who you are.

The essence of being a warrior is to never quit on yourself.

The essence of being a warrior is to never quit on yourself.