As I walked home from school after my final day in formal education, I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with my life. It was 21st December 1967, and I was 15-years-old. It’s now 2007 and looking at teenagers today, it seems strange when I consider that I didn’t drink, smoke, or swear. Okay, I admit it; I was also a virgin.
Where are my manners? My name is Jim Faulkner, and before I go any further, I’d like to thank you for taking an interest in my story. I like to think that soon after the nerve-wracking experience of leaving school, my life evolved to become a colourful and diverse experience. To put my story in context, I think we should have another quick look back at me in December 1967.
I was clean, tidy, organised, respectful and dutiful. I went to church every Sunday and feared God. I enjoyed walking, cycling and playing football. In my quieter moments I loved to read, draw, learn about natural history and listen to Radio Luxembourg.
My brown hair had a few fair streaks, was always short, immaculately combed, and neatly parted. I was 5 foot 6ins tall, fresh-faced, blue-eyed, and slightly built. According to most, I was a handsome young man. Not so bad you might think, so let’s dig a bit deeper.
As a boy, I was shy. By the time I reached the age of 15, the only females I’d ever kissed were adults. No, not cougars; relatives. Let’s take this slow at first eh.
I first got peculiar urges looking at girls when I was about 12, but the urges remained unexplained. Sex education inthose days was limited to PE lessons. All the girls changed in one dressing room, and all the boys changed in another. The world was a different place back then. My parents weren’t big on talking about sex. For most of my life, they didn’t talk about anything; they shouted.
As you read on, you will be introduced to the story of my journey into manhood. Although my tale is of my military career, I believe it will have a broad appeal, so there is no requirement for the reader to have been in the Armed Forces.
It is a human story; a coming-of-age. I think of it now as, A Life of Choice.