the short of it:
the long of it:
But J.G.P. chose otherwise.
He smashed his perhaps best sculpture in a garage. He gave up painting and drawing altogether. He dropped out of high school. He did things to himself and to others for which he now carries only a profound regret. He ran away from home a lot, eventually running all the way into the US Army.
While in the army, he got very good at hiding his creative side from others. Yet part of him loved being a soldier, particularly an infantryman, and part of him still does. He served overseas in Korea ('05-'06) and Afghanistan ('06-'07 and again in '09), was stationed in upstate New York, Washington, D.C. and spent some long stays in Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky and Virginia. J.G.P. looked forward to a career in the infantry, until, that is, his past mistakes caught up to him.
Or at least that's the way he thinks of it.
J.G.P. got out of the military and went on to become the first in his family to earn a college degree, a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University at Buffalo (SUNY), with a minor in philosophy.