David Goggins starts his military career

I got a wooden plaque after finishing that 150-mile race. There is no money in this sport.

Copywright © McNaughton Park Trail Runs

Indicators of failure (PowerPoint slide):

  • Abusive father
  • Raised by a single mother
  • Young black make in a rural white town
  • Family tragedy
  • 1.1 high school GPA
  • Failure to meet testing standards for military

My dad owned a bar in Buffalo, NY. You’ve heard of Rick James? Yeah, my dad was best friends with O.J. Simpson and Rick James. My father beat my mom and me, when I was growing up.

So when I was 8, we moved to Braziliana.
There are 9 blacks in this town of 9,000 people.

My mom went to college when she was 36 and worked 3 jobs just to keep food on the table. I saw crosses burning in the field.
In 1993, the KKK marched through town.


When I was 12 years old, the man who’d been raising me, my father figure, I found him in our garage. He’d been shot 5 times.

In high school, I had a brown Chevette. Students painted, “We’re going to kill you nigger” on it. I had the same thing written on my Spanish class notebook. When I went to the principal to tell him about it, he said, “The spelled ‘nigger’ ‘niger’ .” I knew then I wasn’t going to get any help.

My grades were bad, because I basically stayed home from school.

At 18, I met a role model who was in the Air Force. He told me to take the ASVAB.
I failed it the first time. I got a tutor and failed it again the second time. The third time, I barely passed. So basically, I had to cram all of my high school education into 6 months, so I could pass this test and join the military.

When I joined the Air Force, I wanted to be a Paramilitary Rescuer, which is a guy who jumps out of helicopters to rescue downed soldiers. I was one of the top guys in class, when the doctors told me, “You have sickle cell. With this disease, you can not dive.”

I had to find another job.

But in the back of my mind, I wanted to play pro football. So when I got out of the Air Force four years later, I tried to walk onto the IN Colts. I got cut.


About susanrene

sister, friend, lover, learner
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