From the July 1970 magazine.

Hell's Angel Looks Homeward

From the worst to the best--the hope of service to those who need him

MY FIRST contact with alcohol was at about the age of sixteen, in November 1956, when my younger brother was killed. From that day on, I needed a drink to go on living. I blamed myself for his death. The hurt was deep.

In December 1957, I went into the Army. I soon discovered that beer was sold at the PX, and I started going there every night, not leaving until they closed. Needless to say, I was drunk during most of my basic-training period. My company commander called me into his office and told me, "You are a hard-nosed alcoholic." I laughed at this. (I was only seventeen.) I asked if that was all, and he said "Yes," but then he told me that if I should ever be called before him again, he would put me in the guardhouse. I thought it was just a big joke.

-- R. L.

Susanville, California

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