What your name means to you

I never would have imagined, not in my most horrific of dreams, that a friend of mine, one of my closest, who just happened to be both a Naval Officer and an LAPD police officer would transform himself into a murderer. I am guessing you are a little intrigued now. Trust me, I wish I were making this up. I wish I could go back in time and fix all the damage that occurred. You are about to join me on a PROCESS that went totally wrong.

Many of you who know me, already know about Chris Dorner, or at least know about the time he made national and world news during the night and week following the Super Bowl in 2013. He wrote a manifesto, not just a short note about his pain and depression, posted it on-line and then began his rampage.

I cannot make up the relationship we had with another because he wrote about it in the manifesto. And while there is actually another Jason Valadao (I have seen his Facebook and I have never had an account as of this writing), it is definitely me that he was referring to. A special paragraph in the manifesto that I will never be able to erase from my memory.

To be honest, I was terrified that I might be on his hit list. That his kind words about me were just another trick embedded in the madness he was creating. After all, we had not spoken since 2009, and that is when the transformation began to take place.

As Chris said to me on those few occasions that we actually did speak, “My name has been ruined. LAPD is lying. If I lose my good name, then I will have nothing to live for.” The reason I remember what he said so well is two-fold: 1) he was so adamant, and 2) I wrote it down in my journal. Little did I know at the time that my struggle to try and maintain a friendship would pale in comparison to the events of 2013.

Chris and I had never had an issue during the 7-years prior in our relationship. Not an argument, or even a hint of being cynical with one another. We were brothers for all intents and purposes. A strong bond that I never thought would break. Or so I thought.

Chris held a conviction so strong that innocent people would eventually die because of his rage. This man that once found $8000.00 on a desolate highway in Oklahoma while in flight training (the local news made a video about it), and turned it in. A true servant-leader. Someone who set the example for young men, especially those who grew up without a father, or who struggled due to the color of their skin.

Chris had changed before my very eyes. And 2-weeks after my first child was born in late 2009, I would have my last conversation ever with him. He believed all of his friends had sided with LAPD and were out to ruin his name. I never stopped thinking about him, but I kept my promise and ceased contacting him. He told me he would call me when he was ready to talk again. He spoke to my wife for a few minutes as well that day. He said he wanted to see the baby before we moved to Wisconsin. That never happened.

And then I received the surprise phone call on February 7th, 2013. Well, that would be a lie. I actually received around 50 to 60 surprise phone calls from various news stations (mostly in southern California, but also from New York, Miami, and Washington, D.C.). And then a single call from a close friend in Orange County, CA, whose wife had just seen a picture of Chris and I on the television set…

Stay tuned, this story has just begun. You might be wondering what this has to do with personal growth and the PROCESS. Trust me, it has everything to do with it.

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