Episode 387 James “Uncle Jimmy” Kuczykowski Triumph Over Trials Transcript

This transcript is from episode 387 with guest James “Uncle Jimmy” Kuczykowski.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And today, my guest is Uncle Jimmy. He is a Roman Catholic Air Force veteran, recovered addict, a stroke survivor, and a published author. And he’s faced and overcome a lot of challenges in his life. And his journey from rock bottom to recovery is both inspiring and impactful.

And we’re going to get into that story in just a But first, I want to Welcome you to the show. I’m really glad to have you here.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): I’m grateful to be on the show. Thank you very much for having me.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, you bet. Um, [00:01:00] so yeah, um, I, I do want to get into kind of your journey and kind of how you overcame some of these obstacles, but we first maybe take a step back, um, share a bit about your, your background, what led you to join the air force? Um, you know, kind of what motivated you to pursue a career in the military?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): I graduated high school in 1979. So, uh, at that time, I had a few other friends of mine who had graduated with who enlisted in the Air Force, and they told me how great it was. And, you know, it was a good life, so I was in the middle of being a store clerk, so I thought, you know, my life was not going nowhere here, so I’m going to try this Air Force thing out, so I did, and I really loved the Air Force, it was a great life.

You know, they gave me everything, uh, rent free, food, [00:02:00] you know, TV, telephone, you know, all expenses paid, really. And, uh, I had a great job. I was what was called a scope dope. That’s, uh, surveillance, so on a screen. We worked shift, three days on, three days off, three days on, three days off. So really, it was just, you know, you weren’t half the year.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. Yeah.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): You got a lot of time off. You, you were on call on those days off. So yeah, or what’s called standby, but you know, still, you weren’t there at the desk position working.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And, and so,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): I’m, I’m very grateful that I have been able to serve in the Air Force. I met a lot, a lot of good people and, uh, still to this day, we are friends.

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s something I think a lot of veterans can probably relate to, is the camaraderie that you had in the military, where you get this group of [00:03:00] people, you know, common mission, common purpose, common values, and you’re, you’re a veteran. You’re working together. You form a bond, uh, during that time.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): not only that, but like when I walk, when I ride my chair, because I got to ride, I can’t walk without a cane, I can’t walk through a grocery store, but as I’m riding through the grocery store, you know, I see a man with a veteran hat on, or a woman with a veteran hat on, I always make sure I make a point to go up to them and thank them for their service, and I tell them about my, uh, being in the Air Force, and that forms a bond with each other.

Meet new friends every day. That’s one of the rules I have for people.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, absolutely. And,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): every day.

Scott DeLuzio: and, you know, I doing this show, I’ve been doing it almost five years now, uh, by the time this episode comes out, it’ll be right around the five year mark. Um, but when, uh, you start talking to folks like yourself and, um, you know, the beginning of the episode, obviously like we, we maybe hadn’t really had much interaction with each other.

Uh, but by the [00:04:00] time we’re done talking, uh, A lot of times, the two veterans, we, we feel like we’ve known each other for years and it’s, it’s kind of interesting how quickly we can form those connections.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Yeah, not only because we’re veterans, but I found that to be true with the other people who, uh, had me on guests on their show, like, uh, one is Megan Johnson Zuccaro, a former, uh, Mrs. Texas. We’re like best of friends now, and a few other guys who had me on the show, but, uh,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): That’s why I really like being a guest, is to form new friendships and help each other attain the goals that we want to attain.


Scott DeLuzio: yeah, absolutely. Um, and so you were talking about your time in the military and how you kind of love the, the air force and, and how the, they basically provided most of the things that you needed. Um, were there any challenges that you faced during the time in the military?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): can’t really [00:05:00] say I had any real challenge, life challenges, because Well, with the exception of basic training, because that was like, you know, the, uh, the, uh, training instructors, they used to yell at you, you know, non

Scott DeLuzio: Oh, right.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): get right in your face, and, you know, uh, threaten you that they’re going to send you to jail if you don’t have your pooch signed.

Scott DeLuzio: It’s sure. Yeah.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): look back at that, you know, you kind of laugh at it, but, uh, back then, you know, uh, I don’t know if I want to say this or not, but he, he said the, the training instructor said, Shit. Shower and shave. And if you can’t, S H I T, that’s because you’re scared. S H I T L E S S.

Scott DeLuzio: You know, as soon as you mentioned basic training, a smile came to my face for the, uh, the audio only listeners here who can’t see my reaction to this. Um, but they, um, [00:06:00] I think everybody going through basic training, they, they don’t exactly know what to expect, even if you’ve had folks in your family or, you know, friends and stuff like that who’ve gone through and they’ve kind of given you a little, you know, briefing on, on what to expect when you get there, you don’t really know what to expect until they’re right in your face and they’re screaming at you and, uh,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): you make good bonds with other guys there, you know. We had one guy in my flight that, uh, he, he brought, uh, his, uh, golf, uh, golf clubs, you

Scott DeLuzio: Oh, no,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): you know, and, uh, and right at the first thing the TI had us do was, uh, pick up our bags, put them down, pick them up, put them down. And he did that for about, you know, a good 10 minutes, and I was watching this guy with the golf clubs.

The training instructor asked him, what you gonna do with those golf clubs? He said, my recruiter told me there was a golf course on, uh, Lackland Air Force Base. Training instructor, training instructor [00:07:00] said, oh, there’s a golf course on this, on this base, all right. I don’t think you’re going to be going there.

Scott DeLuzio: no, you’re not going to be able to see much of it. Um, you know, maybe, maybe they’ll, they’ll, uh, run you around it and, uh, you know, let you, let you see it as you, as you’re running by sweating, you’re sweating your butt off as you’re, as you’re running, um, you know, wishing that you were back home at the golf course.

But, um,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): one time later on, uh, and you know, around almost about the last week or the week before the last day, uh, they let us do a little recreation time on there, but I’m not a golfer, so I didn’t, I wasn’t able to go.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, yeah. I know when, when we went through basic training or the very last week, it was like kind of, you know, Making sure everything was cleaned and, you know, ready to turn in and all that kind of stuff and that was like the only time that you had You ever kind of felt like you were sort of human the way they they interacted with you and all that kind of stuff [00:08:00] You know because there wasn’t much training or anything else going on It was really just you’re cleaning you’re you’re polishing you’re you’re getting stuff ready for turn in all that kind of stuff So so that was that was about it as far as You

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): film was very good, and the Air Force it was, it was very good.

Scott DeLuzio: That, I will say, is the difference between the Army and the Air Force. We did not have very good food. Um, but, we also didn’t have a lot of time to taste it, either. We had about five minutes to eat each meal, and you shove it down as quick as you can, and, you know, you try to get as much in as you can, because it’s like, it never seemed like there was enough, uh, enough food for you.

But, um, but anyway, so, so that was, um, You know, kind of your, your military career. How about the transition out of the military, getting into civilian life? How did that transition go for you?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): That was pretty tough because I was unemployed, and I, you know, I scrapped and scraped and, like, cut grass and banks [00:09:00] and did whatever I could to make a dollar bill. But I right away went to a college to, uh, I went to the school for computer programming, but it was like a two year school, an associate degree, and as I was sending out my resumes, No experience, no experience, no experience, but I expected anyone to get experience if you don’t get hired, you know, so.

And so it was, to answer your question, it was pretty tough for me. And then I finally got hired by a, uh, telemarketing company called Snyder Distributing. We sold, like, electronics to, across to stores across the, the United States. And I did pretty well there, and uh, so at least I was able to pay my bills and, you know, have fun.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, and that’s. A good thing, obviously, you know, being able to support yourself and everything after the military. And for a lot of people that I’ve talked to, it, it [00:10:00] almost is a, uh, sudden reality check where you had a job in the military where, like you said, your, your housing is paid for, your food is paid for, your clothes, like, they basically give you your clothes, like what, what you need to wear and all that kind of stuff.

That, that’s all kind of taken care of for you. And, you know, you don’t have. A lot of those concerns with, with, uh, you know, where am I gonna, uh, you know, find money for food or where am I gonna find money for rent or a mortgage or, or any of that kind of stuff. You, you don’t really need to worry too much about that kinda stuff in, in some cases.

Um, so. When you get out, now you have to figure all of that stuff out, um, and for a lot of guys who join right after, and ladies, who join right after high school, um, the only real job that they ever knew was the military, where all this stuff is taken care of, and now it’s like a, a big, you know, wave of stuff that you need, you need to now be concerned about, [00:11:00] um, and that, like you said, that could be a difficult transition, uh, to, to get

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): thing I’d like to say about, the one thing I’d like to say about getting out of the military is, and it’s probably the same for, true for Army, Air Force, uh, Marines, Navy, but like, you can take the man out of the Air Force, but you can’t take the Air Force out of the man, because once you start living this way for, you know, four or five years It comes into a being a part of yourself, and so that was like I didn’t really think about that until like probably 10 or 15 years down the road.

That’s when I started missing the military, really.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, yeah, and, and, you know, at that young of an age, even four or five years, that could be, you know, a quarter, you know, fifth of your, your life, depending on, you know, how long you’re, you stayed in, that, um, that, that becomes a significant chunk of your life, even if you stayed in for, you know, Uh, if you stayed in for 20 years, um, that’s more than half of [00:12:00] your life at that point.

Uh, you know, if you joined at 18, um, that’s, that’s more than half your life. And so you, you’ve definitely become accustomed to a certain way of, uh, certain standard and a certain way of living and certain, uh, way of upholding yourself. Um,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): you knew what you were going to wear.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, you knew what you were going to wear. You knew when you, you needed to be someplace, you know, what you needed to do.

All that stuff was laid out pretty well for you. Um, And then you get out into the civilian world, and none of that stuff is laid out for you. Um, there’s suggestions, you know, you go on a job interview, you wear certain, certain, uh, type of clothes to go on to a job interview, you, um, you know, you show up. On time or if not early, and you, you, you know, all these things that you’re supposed to do, but, um, they’re kind of more suggestions.

No one’s going like, yell at you. If you showed up in, you know, shorts and a t-shirt to a job interview, , you know, um, you, you may not get the job, but. No one’s gonna be screaming down your, your, your, [00:13:00] uh, your face because, uh, because you showed up dressed that way, uh, whereas in the military they would, and so you made sure you paid extra attention to, you know, how, how shined your boots are, how pressed your uniform is, and all that kind of stuff, because people would get on you for it.

Um, But when the attention is off of that, and there’s really no attention on, on hardly anything, uh, come, come civilian life, um, it’s like, okay, well, now, now where do I need to put my attention? And that, that could be kind of difficult. So you, in the intro, and we had kind of. We’ve gone back and forth a little bit offline before, uh, this, this, uh, interview, you mentioned, uh, to me that, uh, you had recovered from, uh, some addictions, uh, can you share more about that journey through, through that addiction and, and what kind of, what helped you overcome that?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): back in the 70s, the uh, spirit of high times and partying was [00:14:00] permeated the atmosphere. And I got caught up in the love of that. Uh, eventually, little by little it, uh, it was no longer a joy, uh, you know, a pleasure, but it was a necessity. And, and one day I just said to myself, you know, there’s got to be something more than this.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, for sure.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): what happened was I met an old friend of all places, a bar, and he was, he was there with another friend. He wasn’t drinking. But he was there, and he was telling me about his time in Alcoholics Anonymous and what he was doing, what he’s about, and so it kind of attracted me, and so I called him about six months later and asked him if he would help me get sober.

He said, yeah, he picked me up that day, and that was like back on December 3rd, 1996, and I can’t say that I’ve been [00:15:00] sober ever since, but for the most part, I’m sober today, and that’s what’s the most important thing is.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure, absolutely. Yeah. And it is a journey and, and especially, you know, with that long of a time period, having, uh, you know, been involved with, with that kind of, uh, journey. scene with, you know, maybe drugs or alcohol or, or whatever the case may be, uh, just, just like we were talking about with the military, it becomes a way of life.

And, uh, like you said, it became sort of a necessity, not just a, uh, let’s go have a good time. It, it, like you said, it’s kind of a, an addiction, a necessity in, in your life. And.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): wake up, you know, wanting to go drink somewhere and you know, you go and you drink all day, all night until, well, you, uh, say how in the, how did I get this way? How the hell did I get this drunk?

Scott DeLuzio: Right. Right.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): know,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s, that that’s unfortunate, but that’s kind of the, the path that some people take is they end up, you [00:16:00] know, just thinking, oh, it’ll just be, you know. This one, one or two times, you know, it’ll be a few times for, you know, just having a good time or whatever. And then, then it’s like, Oh, well that was, that was no big deal.

So I’ll just keep doing it and keep doing it. And then it becomes like almost a daily occurrence. And that becomes. problematic.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): you one is taught in the meetings that you know one is not ever killed by the caboose. He is always killed by the, the engine running over him. And that’s, that’s what is, the engine is the very first one that kicks in a, uh, you know, a need for more and more and more and more and more until, you know, you just wonder.

You know, how and how did I get so drunk?

Scott DeLuzio: Um, and so you, you go through the, the program, um, how helpful was that for you, uh, as, as far as the, the sobriety was, uh, a, uh, you know, the, the appropriate thing for you, or [00:17:00] was there something else that kind of

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Now, it was really the appropriate thing for me. When I first got there, it was like, where have I been? You know, this is something like I’ve been waiting for all my life. You know, the camaraderie of the people just all together to accomplish one goal of staying sober and being happy, joyous, and free.

Without the booze or drugs.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. You know, I, I had a, an episode really early on in this podcast is probably Within the first year of doing this show, and there was a veteran who was on the show, also an Air Force veteran, and he grew up in an environment, uh, parents were, were, uh, you know, addicted to drugs, his, uh, friends that he went to school with and everything, they were all into drugs and everything, and so, That just was like the way of life for him.

And he was, uh, getting caught up in that as well. And one day he was looking around. He was, I don’t know, I forget what [00:18:00] his job was delivering pizzas or something like that. And he was like, is this it? Like, is this all that there is for me in life? Like just driving around, delivering pizzas, getting drunk or getting high.

And, and, and so he decided that he needed to pick up and just. Get away from all of it because his environment and the people that were around him were the people that he was kind of associating with and, uh, kind of, um, you know, doing what they’re doing. If they’re, they’re going to hang out and get drunk while he’s going to hang out and get drunk.

If they’re going to get high, they’re going to, he’s going to go and get high. So he’s like, I just need to get away from all of these people and get this, put this in my past and set it behind me. And. He said, you know, he found himself wanting to be a part of that kind of atmosphere, that scene, less and less, the more he started associating with other people who weren’t going out and drinking.

They’re doing more productive things with their lives. They, they, you know, have businesses or, you know, [00:19:00] whatever, they have families, um, all these things that they might be doing. Um, he And, and he found himself wanting to do more of that type of stuff and not the stuff that, uh, his, his old friends were doing.

And so, you know, it makes sense. Like you were saying, there’s a group of people now who are, their, their focus there is, is to get off of this stuff and would, you know, make sense that in, in your case, you’re now less motivated to go to a bar and have a drink or, or anything like that. Because it’s like.

That’s not what your social circle is now participating in, they’re doing other things that, that kind of replace that, right?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Yeah, in recovery, geographical changes never work, because what has to change is what’s on the inside of a man, not on what’s the outside of a man. Because wherever you go in the world, you take yourself with you.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): You know, I remember I went from Syracuse, [00:20:00] New York, from Hancock Field, Air Force Base to South Korea.

I’m out on, uh, in South Korea stationary and I was intending on, you know, gonna not drink anymore at that time. Because, uh, you know, I got in a little bit of, little bit of trouble, uh, drinking. Nothing real bad, but a little bit. And, uh, you know, reprimanded and things like this. But, uh, I took myself to South Korea and first thing I did when I got on that base.

Went to the bar.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, yeah. Yeah, and I think, I think what I said, you know, kind of remove yourself from that situation, I, I think I mean, uh, the, the environment, like, like choosing to not go to the bar. Is the type of thing that I’m talking about, um, cause you’re right, if you, if you can’t change what’s inside, uh, I’m sure the guy that I described, you know, from the previous episode, uh, he could have found people, [00:21:00] you know, wherever he went that were into that same type of partying, drinking and smoking and, you know, all this other stuff that they, they might’ve been doing.

Um, he could, he could have found them too.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): happiness doesn’t come to a man, it comes from within a man.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s right. Um, and, and if you’re not happy with yourself and who you are, then you’re going to find other things to kind of fill that void and that’s, that’s where people start to find the, the drugs and the, the booze and everything else. And, and that’s not a great place to be, right?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): That’s very close to one of the first lessons my mother taught me. She said, if you don’t love yourself, no one else is gonna love you.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure, yeah, and, and, you know, that’s gonna affect a lot of things, including relationships and everything else that, that, um, you’re just not gonna have a great time, uh, when, when it comes to all of that, so, um, so yeah, absolutely, I think, I think that is a good message that you, uh, [00:22:00] you had to share there as far as, um, kind of being around those people that kind of help you, uh, Find that within yourself.

Um, I, I think that’s, that’s part of it. Um, now, you, you also mentioned your, your faith, um, you know, uh, was, was this something that you kind of like grew up, um, you know, in a religious household, or?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): I was raised, raised in the Roman Catholic faith by my parents, but that’s not why I’m Catholic today. I, uh, I try to not only search and study my own faith, but also the philosophies of Eastern, uh, religions, just so I know where people are coming from, you know, and I’m really attracted to, I’m really attracted to the Eastern religions, absolutely,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and that, that does make sense. Being, being able to, uh, kind of understand where other people are coming from, um, you know, I, I think, We need to do more of that in this, in this world is kind of, uh, you know, kind of [00:23:00] research and understand other people, other, other cultures, other backgrounds and things like that, because it’s, it’s not like everybody is like this strange, weird outsider, but sometimes we treat them that way.

And, um, you know, if we can understand them a little bit more, it might help us, um, you know, help them. Just overall relationships with, with other, other folks. Um, now, during your, your recovery, like the, um, uh, you know, the AA process, did, did your religion help you get through all of this? Or, or how did that, did that play a role?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Because there’s, there’s a step where, uh, people turn their will and their lives over to God as we understand God, and, uh, some people, a lot of people go into that program not even believing in God, but working through the steps, they come to a belief in Him. But having a knowledge of God already really, really helps.

Scott DeLuzio: And [00:24:00] I have to imagine that that plays a big role in finding that happiness within yourself, too, that you were talking about, and kind of having that understanding that there is something bigger out there that You know, it is, there’s something bigger, better out there, um, that, that probably has a, a role, uh, in that as well, doesn’t it?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): You know, something that I truly come to believe is that when one has God within, he has everything.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and, and so, going through AA, having, having, you know, this, uh, kind of religious, uh, revitalization, let’s say, um, in, in yourself, um, You get to a point where you’re no, no longer really feeling the need for, uh, this type of stuff. And you said, you know, obviously you, you haven’t, uh, been sober ever since, [00:25:00] um, there’s, there’s been some ups and downs maybe, um, but have you been able to kind of go back and kind of fall back on, on some of the stuff that you, uh, you learned and everything in that initial process, uh, that you went through, uh, all those years ago?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Oh, I apply it every day.

Scott DeLuzio: Every day. That’s great. Yeah. And, and so, um, you also mentioned, uh, in, in our conversations, uh, before that, uh, you had experienced a stroke, um, that resulted in a disability. And, uh, you mentioned, you know, your, some of your mobility issues and things like that. Um, you know, how, how did you kind of cope with the physical kind of emotional challenges that, that maybe came along with all of that?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): First and foremost, it was my relationship with God, our Father. And, uh, secondly, there were so many people from the church coming to visit me. So many people from the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous coming to visit me. Two would [00:26:00] leave, two would come in, two would leave, two would come in. Yeah, I was getting to the point where I wanted to stay away, you know.

But, uh, it’s important for people when they go through, uh, difficulties to accept people’s help because That’s important that, uh, you let people help, help you.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. When, when you have any sort of, um, Yeah. Setback. It could be, uh, you know, something like a medical issue. Like you experienced yourself. Uh, it could be the loss of a loved one. It could be, uh, you know, house fire, any number of things like that. Yeah. Except the help. When people come to you and it’s like, Hey, is there anything I can do?

Yeah, there probably is. And, and don’t be, uh, you know, afraid of asking for help because we all need help from time to time. And it’s, it’s not

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): humble, I think being humble is a very important part of one’s, uh, [00:27:00] spirituality and life to be happy, uh, because, you know, there’s not one thing that a person can do on their own. A person can’t even write, write with a pencil on their own, because in order to write with a pencil, there were lumberjacks who needed to cut down trees, right?

Right. And those trees had to be transported to a lumberyard, and those, and that lumberyard had salespeople to sell it to, uh, pencil factories, and those pencil factory people had to sell it to stores, and those stores had clerks that was responsible, you know, and it goes on and on and on, there’s not one thing a person can do on their own, except maybe die.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, that, uh,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): again, when you die, there’s going to be some people who are going to have to haul you off to the graveyard, so really there’s nothing that a person can do on their own. I fall back on the proverb, as iron sharpens [00:28:00] iron, so man sharpens his fellow man.

Scott DeLuzio: that’s such a good point that if you think about it, there really isn’t anything that you could do 100 percent on your own. I mean, even you and I right now, the ability to be able to talk. On a recording like this, uh, someone had to make the computer. Someone had to make the, someone, someone made the internet.

Someone had to create the software that we’re using. Someone had to create the microphones and the cameras and all these things. I, I know I can’t do all that stuff. And, you know, that’s, that is exactly the, the, uh, a good point. Yeah. So, uh, yeah, your book here, you, you, you, uh, put it up on the screen here. Uh, your book, Thy Will Be Done, Enjoy the Thrill of True Joy and Happiness.

Um, tell us about the book and what people can expect from that book.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): well it draws on scripture, the voice of saints, and my experience in [00:29:00] the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve always wanted to be a published author. For some reason, I don’t know why. It was just a, you know, a life dream, I guess, and when I was in the nursing home for rehabilitation from my stroke, being a Catholic, I had priests come in and visit me, and we’re going to, uh, I was doing what’s called confession on pretty much a daily basis.

And the priest at the time, he told me, you know, this is some good stuff, people, there’s people that need to know this stuff, you should write a book. So, while I was in the nursing home, I had my computer brought in, I started typing in what I, what I wanted to reach out to the world with. The, the, the title of the book originally was, God’s Will is Love.

And the first chapter was going to be Thy Will Be Done, but over time, it kind of changed up a little bit, and it is what it is, and it’s, I kind of let God have [00:30:00] control of what I do, no matter what I do.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. And I think when you kind of release that. To God, um, from, you know, my own personal experiences and other people I’ve talked to, when you’re, you’re able to release that, uh, you know, basically anything that you do, you know, there, there’s already a plan that’s already kind of been written out in You may agree with it.

You may not, it doesn’t really matter. It’s going to happen. And when you kind of come to accept that, this is just how it’s going to be. Um, it kind of takes a lot of stress and worry and anxiety and all that kind of stuff away from you because it’s like, well,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): You know, the title of my book kind of sums up

Scott DeLuzio: yeah.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): exactly what the book is about. It’s about conforming oneself to God’s will, which is, you know, true joy and happiness, and because God wants to give to each [00:31:00] human person everything they desire. Their desires do not interfere with their eternal salvation.

Scott DeLuzio: You know, I, I think when people come to that conclusion, that understanding for themselves, um, that’s where there’s some significant change and, and power, uh, for, for folks, right? I, I think if, if, um, uh, you know, you, you go through life and you, you’re just, you, you’re struggling to, to just force your, your will into things and into situations, uh, knowing that.

It’s, it’s going to be God’s will, um, is, is probably, uh, probably a, a, a great thing to come to that conclusion earlier than later in life. I, I would, I would imagine

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): It’s something I share in my book, is that, you know, God [00:32:00] wants to give us everything that we want, whatever we even want or desire, anything that we, that we can even imagine, if we only ask him. And, uh, my, my chapter on prayer is titled, Beggars Before God. Because that is really what each and every one of us are. One might say, I’m not a beggar before God, I work for what I have. I say, that may be true. There’s no doubt you work hard for what you have. But God is working behind the scenes with everything that you have.

Scott DeLuzio: true. That’s true. And I think that is an important message for folks who, uh, might, might be struggling through, through

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): one other important thing is that God answers prayers in His time, not ours. And in a way unforeseen by man. And a lot of times answers to our prayers come from an unexpected source and in an unexpected way.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s right. [00:33:00] That’s right. And. Yeah, so you just keep your eyes open because those, uh, those prayers will be answered. Um, you just got to, uh, you know, be ready for it. You

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Be ready. When you’re ready for it, it appears.

Scott DeLuzio: exactly. So, um, it’s been A pleasure speaking with you today and learning about kind of your journey and some of the struggles that you’ve gone through, um, and, and some of the ways that you’ve found a path to a better life.

Um, I think that can serve as an inspiration for other folks, uh, who are out there maybe in a similar situation. Um, do you have any, uh, kind of closing thoughts that you might want to

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): I’d like to share, I would love, I would love to share a prayer that I pray just about every day that will help people, I think, uh, live in conformity to God’s will. And it goes something like this, My Creator, I offer [00:34:00] Myself entirely to You, without any reservations or conditions, and I commit Myself entirely to Your Will for Me.

Grant me knowledge of Your Will for Me, absolute conformity to Your Will for Me, and absolute trust in Your Divine Providence. Amen.

Scott DeLuzio: And how do you, so, when you pray that prayer, um, what do you feel like it, like, personally for you, I mean, I know it’s, it’s your, it’s your kind of devotion to God, um, but for you personally, does that change anything kind of inside of you, inside of your mind, your, your thought process or anything like that, you wake up, you’re kind of feeling a little, uh, like you’re about to have a bad day or something like that, does that change anything for

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): I pray that prayer, when I pray that prayer, it makes me kind of [00:35:00] feel like I’m beginning to walk with God. And it’s important that, it’s important not only for me to walk with God, but to let God walk with me. It’s like, it’s

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s, yeah, I think that’s another way to look at it is, is letting God walk with you, right?

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): important for us to get to know God,

Scott DeLuzio: Mm hmm.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): you know, but it’s important for us as all our friends to let friends get to know us. Well, it’s important for God, not that he, God does not know us. But really, like, in a friendship, in a friendship, uh, atmosphere, that we get to know God and God, that God get to know us.

Talk to him.

Scott DeLuzio: Right.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): And, uh, you know, he, he just speaks. In the silence, he speaks to your heart.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. Um, so [00:36:00] before we wrap this episode up, uh, I, I told you, uh, before we started recording, I like to add a little bit of humor, um, kind of laugh a little bit. I, I think that’s, uh, one of the best medicines out there is, is humor. And, uh, so I, I want to be able to share that with, uh, people. You in the audience.

And anytime I have another veteran on the show, I always like to do a segment that I call, is it service connected? Um, and it’s usually, usually gets a laugh out of the veterans just because we can, uh, you know, watch a, a video of service members doing things that are maybe a little stupid. Uh, they probably thought it was a good idea at the time, but it probably isn’t.

Um, and we, we can kind of watch and laugh along with them. Uh, in this case,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): try to, uh, I try to, uh, put humor, a lot of humor into my book. One of the most humorous stories I, uh, try to, uh, put in my book is about a, uh, a young boy. He’s talking with God and he’s asking God, God, isn’t it [00:37:00] true that to you one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day?

And God says, yes, son, that is true. Well, and isn’t it true that, like, To you, one million dollars would be just like one dollar, and God said, yes, that is true. Then the boy said, well, if that be the case, will you please give me a million dollars that I can, uh, so because to you it’s just like one dollar, and God said, yes.

But give me a day to come up with the cash. We just don’t know how, in the time that God works, but God always hears our prayers.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, yeah, that’s true. Yeah. That is funny, and I’m glad that you are, you’ve injected some humor into the book as well, because, um, you know, I, I think, you, it’s hard to be in a bad mood, uh, when you have humor, uh, around you. Um, [00:38:00] you know, there’s,

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): people want to learn a little bit more about the book, they can go to my website, www. thywillbedonebyjameskisikowski. com

Scott DeLuzio: excellent.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): And, and at that, and they can find out what other people around the USA are saying about it. And that, uh, website gives an icon, a Buy Now icon, where they can purchase it for 12. 95.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and we’ll have, yeah, we’ll have a link to that website in the show notes and also to the, the book, um, a direct link to the book in the show notes as well for folks who want to, uh, grab a copy of the book and find out a little bit more maybe before buying the book, um, we’ll have the link to the website like you just mentioned.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Well, I hope I was a worthy guest for you.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, before we wrap up though, I want to do a quick segment here. Is it service connected? Uh, we can kind of laugh a little bit at this and, uh, let me just share this screen, um, and, and show this video for, uh, for our guests here and for the, [00:39:00] uh, video, uh, uh, on YouTube and Twitter.

Uh, so you can check the video out there. Uh, let me pull this up real quick and for the audio only listeners, your best bet is to. Go on to, uh, YouTube or whatever to watch the video, but I’ll try to describe it as best I can right now. It just looks like a. Kind of muddy field, maybe. I’m not sure exactly what’s about to happen, but let’s hit play and see what happens. So it looks like a guy’s walking around this. Oh, no, it’s not a muddy field, dude. It’s like the shore. And the tank comes in out of nowhere, skids, and

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): wow,

Scott DeLuzio: it skids and does a flip, um, on the top, and now it’s like laying on its side, tracks, uh, going the opposite direction. Like, they’re not flat on the ground like they’re supposed to be.

So, uh, Yeah, that, that looked like a bad day. That was, there’s probably some, uh, um, probably some choice words going on inside of that tank, I would imagine. [00:40:00] And, uh, uh, probably I’d imagine some, uh, some guys got banged up a bit inside of there as well, if they weren’t strapped down pretty well.

Uncle Jimmy (James Kuczykowski): Well, I hope we can do this again sometime in the future.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Likewise. I think this was a, it was a good time. So thank you for, uh, taking the time to join us.

Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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