Aged nine and shattered by the death of his Father, the author takes his readers through the inner processing of that dreadful situation, and his eventual recovery, before embarking on a career as a soldier in the New Zealand Army aged merely fifteen years old. Side-by-side with several hundred other boy cadets in the ranks of this elite unit, at the army's Regular Force Cadet School which was based at a remote,stark army camp, he dreamed of becoming a proud figure in uniform, strong fit and brave. Stunningly, from the very first day of his induction, he is confronted with a brutal regime and an ingrained culture of violence within the Cadet barracks. The sheer injustice of the ongoing humiliation and bullying at the school had reached back for decades then continued on for a further twenty years and long after his eventual discharge. He witnesses and suffers, as do many others, persistent exposure to physical, psychological and emotional subjection, also an unexpected sexual assault by an adult staff member. From the time of his eventual discharge, David begins a slow downward drift into alcohol addiction, criminal activity, and many commitals to psychiatric institutions. He endures the ravages of powerful psychotropic medications and the dreaded 'electric shock treatment' until, forty years later, he is re-diagsed as suffering from chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This remarkable story is unquestionably one of sadness, but also perseverence, inspiration and outrageous black humour, with a bevy of fascinating characters as a back drop.
The author now lives in the port city of Napier, New Zealand with his wife Fiona, to whom he has been married for the past twenty eight years. They have no collective children of their own but enjoy regular contact with extended family members. Following the Governmental inquiry into the matters surrounding The Regular Force Cadet School, David has received much support from Veterans' Affairs New Zealand and the Returned and Services Association of New Zealand for which he will be eternally grateful. Life has returned to a very happy equilibrium for both of them, and combined with a minimal amount of medication David enjoys a contented and settled life of writing. Apart from his background in woodwork, he has also studied martial arts and enjoyed a brief four year career as a radio DJ and also served as an accredited volunteer telephone counsellor for four years. His decision to abandon a life of addictive behaviour was a major turning point in his becoming so well, and he has been in recovery one day at a time for almost ten years. The road back to sanity has been arduous and lengthy and he would like to acknowledge the support of many, many people in fact too many to mention. They will hopefully know who they are. David's acceptance of a higher spiritual power is also a major factor in him finding his own form of peace within himself, and the world around him.