He had a US Navy tattoo on his right hand and he told me, “I was in Panama when Manuel Noriega was captured.” He served in the Navy for thirteen years in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.
History unfolded in 1989 as Noriega was brought down by a team of Navy Seals. After the former leader was taken into custody, he was flown by the US Air Force to America to stand trial for drug trafficking charges, evidently he was bringing drugs into the US while dictating the country of Panama.
As for Johnny, the 54 year old man is wheelchair bound for the most part and lives in a motel that was converted into efficiency apartments. He told me that Hospice services visit him weekly. Johnny said, “I have thyroid cancer and it has gotten too bad.”
In his younger days after the Navy, he was no stranger to trouble. He was arrested multiple times, but that was then and now he is simply making ends meet.
"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live." - Norman Cousins (1915-1990), American Political Journalist, World Peace Advocate