In 1976-77, Romier elementary had razor wire on the roofs to keep vandals off. On Mondays, it was common to find fresh bullet holes in the doors. Once, we arrived to find the doorknobs had been beaten off. On another Monday, we couldn’t park our cars in the parking lot because all the lights had been shot out, and the lot was littered with shards of glass.
That year, I made a friend with another teacher. The union rep for the school was Marshal Kahan. Soon after I was hired as a long-term sub, he came to the classroom and offered support and advice. During our conversation, I learned he was also a former United States Marine.
We stayed friends for thirty years and hiked the San Gabriel Mountains together for more than a decade before Marshall was diagnosed with leukemia. He died eight years after the diagnoses. I still miss the loss of his friendship.
The other incident is when James’s father came to shout at me, because his son’s reading score had not improved. I was alone the afternoon the father walked in unexpectedly. He cursed and accused me of being incompetent. He threw the reading book on the floor and said I’d put his son in a book that was too difficult. I shifted my body stance so one side faced him. I’d been taught hand-to-hand combat in the Marines and fought in Vietnam. If he was going to attack, I wanted to be ready.
Discover a Square Peg in a Round Hole
His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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