I was asked to write a short story about my ascent from poverty that would be a part of a book written by several that had come from poverty to make their way in the world, this is my story.

First Sergeant at 169th SIG CO in Korea contributed by the author

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. — George Herman “Babe” Ruth

I was asked to write a short story about my ascent from poverty that would be a part of a book written by several that had come from poverty to make their way in the world, this is my story.

No matter what misery life hands you, handle it! Never give up, for you never know what lies around the corner.

I was born in a one-room, converted garage in West Old Town, Maine. …


I never felt safer or more loved than in my Nana’s kitchen. Also, I never went hungry.

Plated bread pudding with topping.
Plated bread pudding with topping.
Image by Digna Cassens from Pixabay

The Rules Are Simple:

When you accept the challenge, you must tag who you received it from and add/tag others. I received the challenge from Ana Ryan. Look for my tags at the end. Copy the subtitles and share your own experiences. It’s that easy, and kind of fun!

We tend to put a monetary “value” on everything or use money as a yardstick. I remember my first article for Yahoo contributor paid $14. You would have thought I wrote a Pulitzer.

The amount didn’t matter. Yahoo also paid a per view stipend, so it could have meant a residual income, but they dropped the program a few months later.

I wrote for Textbroker at around $3 to $5 per article. Longer articles meant more money! On a typical day, I made $25 or $30, though I had rare days when I made over $200.

I have had two clients for five years that pay me $40 per 300–500-word article, about $800 per month. Another who pays me $200 for a 1000-word White Paper every month. …


The Global War on Terrorism has enlightened the world to the problem of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but it is not just a combat Veterans’ disorder.

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Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

As a First Sergeant in the US Army with 28 years of service, I witnessed many PTSD incidents both diagnosed and suspected.

Leaders at all levels, military and civilian, should avoid making diagnoses about PTSD without consulting medical personnel. Even experienced medical personnel find it challenging to diagnose accurately.

I remember one such first-line supervisor I had to correct because he told me one of his Soldiers was faking PTSD to get out of work. He said, “He’s full of shit, First Sergeant, he probably never even saw combat.”

He was shocked to learn that not all PTSD is combat-related. I told him to get the Soldier an appointment at mental health immediately, and never “diagnose” a Soldier again. …


If you’re thinking you won’t like it because you don’t like manga, put that out of your mind. This is excellent!

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Alice in Borderland Collage Created by the Author

NOTE: I guess we should get the warnings out of the way. If you have a weak heart, you should probably choose another series. Likewise, there are some scenes with sexual overtones, though no full nudity. However, it is for mature audiences as there is plenty of blood and violence.

AiB is a Japanese manga series illustrated and written by Haro Aso. The series was brought to Netflix in live-action.

In the eight, roughly 42-minute episodes, near Tokyo, three high school kids bored with life are transported to an alternate universe (best guess by the participants).

The three are recklessly enjoying life in a crosswalk. When the light changes from walk, Karube still has Arisu on his shoulders spinning him around, while Chōta films the action on his phone. …


Thrifty Words Theme Challenge #20: Winter

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Image Collage Created by the Author with PowerPoint

I was bartending the night she came in. A stunning albino, her hair, including her eyelashes, were white.

“A White Russian, sure. Are you?” I asked. “Yes,” she giggled, and I knew I would make her mine. Don’t judge. We had fun, but like Frosty, one day, she melted away.

You can follow the Thrifty Words Theme Challenge on Twitter @TheBadInfluenc7. Read and re-tweet each and you will gain readers and friends!

Here’s this week’s thrifty words theme.

The submission guidelines.

Here’s my week #19 answer to the challenge “Resolutions.”


I was going to make this a listicle but calling one excellent Bugatti better than another beautiful Bugatti would be extremely difficult, if not meaningless.

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Post Malone’s Glacier Glacier White Chiron Courtesy of Bugatti Source

Anyway, these are all beautiful cars. I figured I would just show a few and tell you who has the best, IMHO.

Since this article includes many celebrities, I was trying to figure out how to put Emma Watson’s $24,000 Prius or Mel Gibson’s $10,000 Cressida in here… Yeah, I just couldn’t stretch it that far.

Of course, if Mel Gibson owned a Volkswagen, I might have been able to sneak him in here because guess what? Volkswagen owns Bugatti! Yeah, I was shocked too.

Just so you know, the Bugatti Veyron is a W-16 (kind of like putting two V-8s side-by-side)1200 Horsepower engine that goes from 0–60 mph in 2.5 seconds. Yeah, while you were reading that last sentence, it could’ve gone from sitting still to 60 mph! …


Most California drivers know how expensive a speeding ticket can be. Even if they have not received one themselves, they usually know someone that has.

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Police car Free Pic from Pexels

The section of I-5 between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco is the route with more 100+ mph speeding tickets than any other highway in the state. The second-highest number is I-15, between LA and Vegas.

One of those ticketed scooting from LAX to SF was Lebron James. Although it has been a few years, James said, “It’s not a big deal. You just have to abide by the rules. I made a mistake, and I have to live with it.”


The division playoff round is set. It will be CLE @ KC; BAL @ BUF; TB @ NO; & LAR @ GB. How will your team do this weekend?

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Divisional Playoff Round Picture Created by Author

In the AFC, the Bills took care of the Colts at home, 27–24. Josh Allen had 3 TDs and a 121 QB rating.

The Browns surprised the listless Steelers, 48–37. Cleveland scored 28 in the first quarter and never looked back.

Although the Titans got an early 10 point lead after a Jackson INT, they were not able to hold on. Ravens win, 20–13.

In the NFC, the Saints were much, too much for the lowly Bears, 21–9.

The Rams step on the Seahawks’ neck in the Cam Akers show, 30–20.

Brady’s Bucs snuck past the surprisingly tough WFT, 31–23.

Donate to the NFL & the American Cancer Society’s Crucial Catch campaign now. …


Squirrels and chipmunks are not indigenous to Metro Manila. Yet, as I drank my coffee at Starbucks this morning, I watched a cute little gray squirrel scurry up a coconut tree just outside.

Tree squirrel
Tree squirrel
Tree Squirrel in Manila by Girlie Aquino from Pixabay

That squirrel had to be amazed at the size of the “nuts” on this tree.

If you think that I am not indigenous to Manila, that would be correct also. Although it is possible for white people to have been born here, they’re not indigenous.

Most would have to stay inside their entire lives to stay white. You can tell this by the number of whitening products on sale on TV and the internet.

Just look at these Top 10 Best Whitening Soap in the Philippines.

YouTube Video Source

This was posted on YouTube by Roma Mbrn, so please subscribe or “like” the video if you enjoy this. …


Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton is a retired US Army First Sergeant with a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Top Writer in VR, Short Story, and Creativity!

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