Published September 22, 2019

Summer 1970

The handcuffs locked around my wrists. I had been tried, convicted, and sentenced.
I was twenty-one-years old, as I stood shackled and ready to be
transported to the Camp Lejeune Regional Brig of the US Marine
Corps in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

This military prison was where I wanted to be. My entire focus
for the prior three years had been directed toward getting me to this
point. This place was the only one where I could end a bad beginning.
Silently, I searched for that quiet center of my being that gave me the
strength to get this far. My heart pounded. My swirling emotions
calmed when I focused my attention on my hands. The handcuffs
threw me; they were not part of my anticipated scenario. After all, I
had been back on the base and in uniform for several weeks. In a
weird way, I had become a curiosity, a minor celebrity. I had a temporary
job. I went to chow. I socialized with fellow marines.

My sorrow was deep. Not for myself, but for others for whom I
caused pain and suffering through my actions. I asked myself, “My
God, why hadn’t I grown up sooner?” The answer was unknowable to
me at that time. It was what it was.

Hear The Author Show interview with William L. Ingram about writing FINDING HEAVEN IN THE DARK: