I grew up in the city of Detroit and was taught that my heritage and strong family values were important. Every year, our birthdays were a cherished event within the family – especially when it was dad’s special day – we always celebrated his with great fanfare, a special family dinner and dessert.

However, on February 27, 1970, my dad’s birthday, that annual tradition was broken when I was forced into a situation beyond my control. I had to leave home and the family gave me an emotional send-off, but the thought and possibility of my never returning devastated them.

This short story follows me on this one special day. Thousands of young men preceded me on this path, and tens of thousands never made it home. Find out where I was heading and why I had to go.    

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