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The home my family occupied after we moved to Kingston was situated along the route taken by dignitaries on their way to Jamaica House, the Prime Minister’s official residence. As a result of this fortuitous bit of luck, we never had to join the throng at the airport eagerly awaiting Queen Elizabeth, Emperor Haile Selassie or other important visitors to our island; we merely had to wait by our gate for the motorcade and wave furiously as they drove by, escorted by the police and a line of other official cars.

I was a teenager then and although the excitement was undeniable, other issues held my attention. Jamaica was changing, an independent country gradually shedding the mantle of colonialism and on the cusp of forging a new identity. The Black Green and Gold was everywhere along with a sense of pride and all the possibilities the future held and I needed to find my place in this new country. Little did I know then how much my life would change, that in time I would be a part of that inner circle greeting official guests to Jamaica and meeting with the Prime Minister at his residence.

This then is my story, written not only as an observer but an active participant in events of the still unfolding tale that is Jamaica. To my humble parents who without treasure gave the best they had to give, a love that has solidified the bond between their children; to my wife and sons and finally to the men and women of the Jamaica Defense Force with whom I served proudly for more than half of my life. And to the active soldiers and reservists who continue to serve in this their finest calling, to defend the honor of their country.

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