Joining The Army
Willis Earl Beal: "I barely graduated high school. Not necessarily because it was too hard but because I wasn't too interested in what was happening and they didn't seem like they had too much to tell me.
"I didn't have any friends and I had been in some drama classes in high school like a couple plays. Ultimately I felt like my life was going nowhere. I always wanted some kind of respect and I always wanted to be organized.
"I vaguely played with the idea of becoming a crime-fighting vigilante. I mean I wanted to be Batman. I would tell people this in a joking way but then secretly be serious about it. I figured if I go off to the army somehow I could expedite this process of becoming a real life Batman.
"I went to the army and went to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. My Military Occupation Study was 95 Bravo and that's MP: Military Police. I got in there and I thought 'Okay, these guys are just going to change my life and turn me into a different person and I'll have no choice but to comply.'
"Then I found out that I wasn't cut out for it because it's hard for me to follow direction and listen to other people and collaborate with people. What I ended up doing was excelling at the physical aspect of it but fucking up when it came to just doing what they told me to do.
"I started forgetting shit, we started getting punished, and I kept fucking up. What happened was my intestines started involuntarily twisting themselves and they didn't know how to diagnose it. They thought I was just being crazy or just trying to get out. A lot of times what they would do was dock my pay or make me buff the floors and shit at three o'clock in the morning. I would get into fights with the fire guards and shit.
"Eventually my intestines started to twist themselves and they had no choice but to let me go because they figured, well, 'Something is really wrong. Either way, he's a liability.' So they let me go. It was going to go downhill anyway, I mean I would have been more like Barney Fife than Batman."