Author Wes Moore had a rough start at life. His father died when he was young which lead to him having a single mother. Eventually, his mom moved them to live with Wes’s grandparents in the Bronx. However, the once friendly environment that she grown up had become “a war zone”. Surrounded by drugs, his environment began to have a bad influence on him. He had terrible grades in school and because of a recommendation from a family friend, his mom sent him to military school.
Subject Wes Moore had very similar circumstances, but unlike the author, he allowed himself to be consumed by his surroundings. When he was young his brother Tony taught him how to fight. This included pep talks like, “Rule number one: if someone disrespects you, you send a message so fierce that they won’t have a chance to do it again.”(33) This lesson lead to his first arrest in 1984, he was only 9. This was just a start to a long list of run ins with authorities. To make matters worse, while in search for somewhere to belong, he became a drug dealer, “It seemed like a sweet setup. Simply wear a headset, hang out with new friends, notify people when you see police coming, and get paid at the end of the day.”(58) Getting involved in the drug system, whether he was directly selling drugs or not, was a recipe for disaster. After years of being caught up in it and four kids later, he finally decided to leave it all behind. From the recommendation from a friend, he joined Job Corps and finally had a chance to restart.