What is an ex-marine doing living on the streets of Jamaica?

His propensity to display “bad behaviour”, he believes.

“I stand out because I am a bad-behaving person; it still hasn’t changed in me,” Brian Foster noted. “A lot of things have changed in me, but I don’t know why God don’t deal with me concerning the anger and the outbursts yet.”

With a sense of regret, Foster told the Jamaica Observer that he emigrated to the United States of America in 1987 at age 13.

“I went to KC (Kingston College), the Melbourne Campus on Elletson Road,” he said. “I was at KC from first to third form; I left here (Jamaica) the year I was going into third form, so I went 7 Gibson, 8 Gibson then left,” he said.

At age 18 he became a member of the United States armed forces.

But nine months after his service in the military, he was dishonourably discharged for “insubordination and drug use”. Foster said he was also imprisoned for 17 years in the Federal Prison and was thereafter deported to Jamaica at age 35.

“Uncle Sam kick me out after me swear fi dead fi him country,” he stated.

According to Foster, his tendency to behave badly has followed him since childhood. He rehashed the circumstances surrounding his expulsion from preparatory school within days of being enrolled.

Likening his experience to that of a line in a song by entertainer Vybz Kartel, Foster told the Sunday Observer, “Me neva go Meadowbrook Prep ’cause dem kick me out after two days after an observation period basically.

“In other words, them say it don’t make no sense to spend no money on this one to send him here; better you send him to St Richards, because him too ill-mannered and dem thing deh,” he said.

In adulthood, Foster was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is “a severe mental disorder characterised by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self.

The WHO outlines that the disorder, which manifests in adolescence or early adulthood, includes psychotic experiences such as hearing voices or delusions, and can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood or the disruption of studies.

“I was clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia, which means that you hear voices that tell you to do things — in the church we call it demon infestation — that’s what causes the schizophrenia,” he noted. “So understanding that, then it means it’s only a temporary diagnosis because my schizophrenia would be chemically induced; psychosis, that’s what I have,”

“So dem a try say then a when mi smoke the whole heap a coke mi turn this or all them sort a thing. But them don’t understand it don’t have nothing to do with that because I can’t control myself. I see myself doing the things and it’s very hard to stop,” he stressed.

His drug addiction brought him to the Teen Challenge Jamaica, a Christian drug rehabilitation centre based in Ocho Rios, St Ann. But after completing his programme he again fell victim to drugs.

Ironically, living on the streets of Ocho Rios gives Foster peace of mind as he explained he is not confined by relatives in his actions.

“The first time the episodes come on them (relatives) say a 11 man Brian mash up, a 11 man haffi take me out and me still wouldn’t go in the car,” he recounted.

“Weh me a tell you is I can’t really stay anywhere because of this instability. It would be better if I get a separate place, like an environment like this, where people aren’t bombarding me on who to be and what have you. I have control here,” he continued.

For survival, the 44-year-old “hustle a ting” by assisting commuters with their bags at the Ocho Rios Transportation Centre and conducts odd jobs in the market.


  1. Schizophrenia also run in families. Mental illness is so awful because the majority of us are not equipped to deal with it. He should be taking his meds regularly, but see him nuh want no structure or anyone telling him what to do, so nobody is around to make sure he takes his meds. I feel bad for parents who have to see their children like this. It’s always important to investigate illnesses in bloodlines before you make a child with someone.

    1. It can run in families, but it is not common. Someone may have a close relative with schizophrenia and never have another family members affected.

      I really hope he gets some help though cause he’s had a rough enough life.

  2. WOW! Bad behaviour got him here. Miss Lowshawna betta tek heed cause har bad behaviour can lead to a fall from (the very little) grace, she has now.

  3. He was dishonourably discharged the military doesn’t owe him anything he’s on the streets because he wants to be , the military has 0 tolerance for drug use.

  4. The editor need 2 box fi a run such an headline. Nine months in the corp and getting kicked out doesn’t make him a Marine.

    Hia mental state is that of a drug addict and not a true Schizo; him proud of him “bad behavior”, schizos I know don’t talk proudly of their downfalls. Him backside,because the Corp would have noted a mental deficiency and ex him out from boot camp.

    Semper Fi…to all FORMER Marines. No “Ex” no inna honor,integrity and bravery.

  5. Uncle Sam did not kick you out and abandon you. The military is just like any job. You f**ked up and was doing drugs and shit. What did you think would happen? Not only that, you would have had to lie on your paper work to get in because they do not accept people with schizophrenia. You served 7 months. I’ve seen people get kicked out 19 years..a year from retirement because of shit they do. Don’t blame the military. You f**ked up. Take responsibility. I am military. Tired of seeing people use the military as scape goat. It is a f**king Job..you f**k up on the job you get kicked out..the military is not the only branch that requires you to lay your life down
    .Priest, fire fighters, police men and women and the whole nine yards do..yet you still have to maintain by their rules..you were in 7 months..uniform still smells like boot camp. Quit blaming the military and accept your f**k ups!

  6. Di drugs nuh easy fix come offa. Mi can tell yuh dat…plus when nuh drugs nuh deh pan di brain a peer tings gwan in deh everything move too fast yuh cyaaah grab nothing…. Oda drugs tuh but di weed help nuff nuff dat slow down everything to grabbing level.
    A guess ppl can seh anything a madness den…. cause mi a read dis an mi nuh mad an mi can relate…ppl wee seh latty yuh cyaaah stay one place yuh always a run up an dung, a who mi a talk tuh today, yuh have spilt personality, yuh mad, yuh head nuh good, yuh unstable, till all onetime mi tink mi sumting muss a gwan cause everyone caah a talk bout dis personality change Suh much… but mi a good good sane ppl everything string up if a anything mi tink it too string up yea.

  7. Go chu sir mi have sympathy for yuh. More time di drugs get weak an mi want something stronger.

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