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.

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…


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.

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…


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

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…


Summer is usually filled with many family fun activities. Wildwood, NJ, is the right location for your family’s summer vacation.

Wildwood, NJ Boardwalk at sundown. Photo by SabreGuy29 from Flickr.

New Jersey offers some of the best locations to relax your mind and have fun. From relaxing on the beach, amusement parks, playing mini-golf, and even enjoying the local delights. Here there is a little something for every member of the family. It is a perfect location to bond and make long-term memories.

Here are a few things you should include in your itinerary for Wildwood, NJ. What’s more, the Splash Zone Water Park is hiring.


Head out to Hilton Head, SC, this summer for a fantastic dolphin watching cruise, a Savannah Riverboat cruise, parasailing, kayaking, or skiff adventures.

Hilton Head Island, SC sea dolphins by Enrique Lopez from Pixabay

Hilton Head Island, SC, is one of the premier destinations in the US for summer family travel. The amenities are numerous and offer things for the entire family to enjoy.

Hilton Head Island, SC, has one of the premier golf courses in the country. This article will highlight these amenities and briefly describe why a trip this summer to Hilton Head will be a family favorite and make memories that will last a lifetime.


Spring usually arrives with the green landscape slowly becoming smudged with dots of bright yellow. The daffodil reflects the spring sun, lifting our spirits making us feel fuzzy and cozy inside.

Yoksel Zok from Unspash

For most of us, the winter is depressing, dark and cold, a world of black and white. Seeing these yellow beauties gives us hope that winter is over, and the good weather is on its way.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

… And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

— William Wordsworth.

NOTE: William Wordsworth’s words came from the Poetry Foundation.

You chose a perfect quote, IMO, to close it out. It's so true what words can do. Harsh words are so much more dangerous than bullets at times. The most important thing, of course, is to be comfortable with the skin you're in!


Get out and hike because as we all learned from the pandemic, it is best for our physical health and mental well-being to get out with friends and family to take advantage of nature’s natural cure.

Waterfalls surrounded by summer foliage. By Melissa Askew from Unsplash

Observe social distancing when you meet other hikers on the trail until this thing is over.

Hiking to a fantastic waterfalls is one way to ensure you get gratification from the long hike. The best time to hike to Maine’s best waterfalls is in the spring when melting snow cascades over the falls.

Although some of these waterfalls are a short hike from the road, none are meant for flip-flops and shorts. Be prepared to get wet and possibly some blisters if you are not a hiker.

Remember, there is a vast difference between hiking and scaling cliffs. Make sure…

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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