John Quinn takes us on his life journey. A journey that is complicated by his cerebral palsy. In a well-written, intense book we follow John as he overcomes obstacle after obstacle to succeed in life as an independent person.
When he decides to join the military, he was told "Uncle Sam can't use someone like you." Did that stop John? You see, the Navy didn't know that John had cerebral palsy. They only knew he couldn't pass one portion of the physical.
A pivotal comment from his friend Phil was all it took to spur John on.
"Funny," Phil said. "I never pegged you as a quitter."
Phil should know, as they became best friends back when John joined the wrestling team in junior high. The coach eventually told John wrestling wasn't for him, but when Phil told the coach he would walk away also if John wasn't allowed to stay their friendship was cemented.
"Imagine, an eighth grader putting it all on the line for a seventh grader, somone he had just met a couple of weeks earlier."
So Phil's comment really stung John.
In "Someone Like Me" John takes us back to his childhood when his parents first learn of his muscular disorder. You hurt for John as he endures hours of physical therapy, the jeers of his classmates and yet he never gives up! His parents support him every step of the way as he struggles to fit in.
Imagine spending part of bootcamp on crutches because you have a broken ankle. Imagine being told to join formation at the rear and being expected to do what all the other recruits were doing, only on crutches.
Imagine having to use both hands to pull yourself up the stairs? Imagine being assigned to a ship at sea. A naval ships don't have elevators. Imagine being assigned to Navy SEAL Team 3.
John Quinn retired from the Navy in October 2002. He rose to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.
"Someone Like Me" is an incredible story of courage, triumph and determination. I highly recommend this book. I will leave you with these words from John Quinn.
Don't tell the thousands ofpeople out there with muscular disorders what they cannot do. They've been hearing that for so long that theyprobably won't listen to you anyway. They are too busy showing you what they can do with their lives.
You want an absolute? Here are two:
You are never alonge.
There is always hope.
That's the truth. And it sure feels good to speak it."