Monday, August 20, 2012

My Collection : About My Family and Tradition

I have now finished my first week of my blog, I wanted to tell you a little bit about my rocks that keep me going everyday. (my wife Tonya, son Joshua, daughters Hannah, Savannah, and Mya)  In 2003 during the invasion as a radar tech in the Army I got radiation poisoning that caused kidney disease.  Over the next five years I was deployed two more times, as the Army stated it was just a bladder infection.  Finally in 2008 the Army admitted they knew that I was exposed to thousands of times the legal levels for a period of 30 days for 8 hours a day in 2003.  I do have lots of soft tissue issues and of course the staggering amount of issues with PTSD.  For many years I really struggled with the images of many of my friends dieing around me, and it is such as tramatic experience that it really changed me.  (in which I am currently writing a book about my struggles due out in March 13)  My family has stood behind me allowing me to take comfort in something that to most is a stupid wasteful hobby.  I had 500,000 cards but last Christmas my son and I donated 200,000 to local children's homes and hospitals.  I now have 300,000 cards going back to 1933.  I have an est. 1,000 certified autos and 1,300 relic cards.  I don't sell my cards because my cards are worth more to me than what anyone could offer.  (I know it sounds corny)
(above is a video I made showing video and pictures I took during the invasion of Iraq)
(I am on the left, first day getting into Baghdad Saddam's Palace April 2003)
I battled with depression since leaving the army in 2008 with no longer being able to hold a job due to being sick a lot.  I then in 2009 began to collect cards again.  When I entered the army in 2001 is when I stopped after collecting since 1985.  My family (pictured below) and my whole family has been totally supportive on me being able to continue my love of the hobby while my wife works long hours as a nurse.  I do receive full army disability but it is a fraction of what I could make being that I have a bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering and trained at the NASA center in Huntsville, AL for a year in the Army in 2002. 
We are like most middle class families, we live on a budget, but my wife allows me to have an allowance that lets me keep my sanity, and my safe place where I can go in my room and spend time with my collection.  Unlike most collectors on Youtube who can afford box breaks after box breaks at hobby level, I get excited about getting a few packs or a blaster box per week.  But my wife has ONE RULE...SHE OPENS EVERY PACK!
Video above has me with my children in 2007 feature at an Army Kids Camp (I'm the army man in the red special forces beret) my son is the smallest child in the video wearing his glove on his wrong hand and ball goes between his legs (1:25)...priceless!!!

Each fall my son and I as a boy scout community project go through my cards that I have doubles, triples...etc and we make boxes of 100 cards and then donate them to area hospitals or shelters.  I feel like it is a duty to continue to give back to a country that I have defended for 8 years.  It is amazing the support I get in my area, kids, moms, grandmas give me a box of cards for my family to collect.  I make sure to tell them I do NOT sell the cards, I have no ebay store, and if I have the card then I it will get donated to a needy family or child to hopefully brighten their day.  My wife though does love getting autographs and game used cards, she displays them proudly also!  I just wanted to share a little bit about why I collect and about my family in hopes that I can maybe make a few friends with similar interests! I love sports of course, my favorite teams are the St. Louis Blues, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals.

I hope to create a great collection for my children and future grandchildren can enjoy years after I have left this great Earth!  Last but not least I made my first game used card for my daughter, I know I could do better this year...but my daughter was VERY excited to have her own game used card (1/1 of course!)
Thanks for reading, god bless and feel free to email me anytime, please no hate, I have PTSD if you don't like what I have to say, just leave my page.  But I love the company so comment or email me!

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No negative comments please, this blog is for fun and not intended as a business...just a collector giving some views.