Sir E.J. Drury II
Sir EJ Drury II

Handicapped by an alcoholic stepfather, Sir EJ Drury II set off on a crusade, after high school, in search of the very soul he had lost to this ogre. Upon entering the Navy after a brief stint at the US Naval Academy, he struggled, for two long years, with the true enemy of mankind—the Beast.

As a sailor in the Navy circa 1967, did he continue his search for she who must be obeyed if he was to tame the beast within and reunite himself with soul. And so did he, at all costs, resist the temptation of his fathers before him, "to live out the visions of others rather than the one with which he had been entrusted at birth"—a quest that pitted him against the Navy as he came to a fuller understanding of the true meaning of military service.

Returning to St. Louis after his eventual discharge, he joined a loosely knit community of antiwar activists and free-spirited thinkers who published the city's only underground paper, The St. Louis Free Press. After not quite a year of leafleting the induction center downtown and of helping disaffected GIs from a nearby army base, he joined another community forming a Catholic Worker House on the near south side of the city. There he stayed until he left for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, later that year, to work at an alcoholic treatment center. After suffering through one of the coldest winters he had ever experienced, he moved back to St. Louis to work on a psychiatric floor at Lutheran Hospital. Upon leaving there in protest, with other health care professionals, over the performance of a lobotomy on a 15-year-old patient, he wound up working on an orthopedic floor, and later, a psychiatric floor at Jewish Hospital.

At the same time, he purchased a farm about a hundred miles south of St. Louis, where he began growing organic vegetables, he marketed back in St. Louis. There he built a cabin and began acquiring the tools and equipment he would need to farm 15 acres of organic fruits and vegetables.

On leaving Jewish Hospital around 1980, he went to work for T C Construction as a carpenter. In '82, he married and began to raise a family. As his oldest son approached the age of two, he started building a new house on the farm, only to have his well-laid plans dashed by an unfortunate but permanent injury to his back, that left him unable to ever again perform any kind of manual labor on a daily basis.

Thrown into a quandary, he eventually went to work for the City of St. Louis, for two years, as a building inspector, before taking a similar position with the City of Richmond Heights, where he worked until he retired in 2015.

After a series of dreams he had in his second year with the City of St. Louis, he started writing, two hours a day until he had completed the book, recounting his first year in the Navy, his encounters with soul and their brief reunion. The book was so poorly produced, it went nowhere. Crushed but not defeated, he continued to work on the book until it reached its present form, a work of psychological and social import entitled A Different Kind of Sentinel, that was released in 2010, printed twice in 2013 and again in 2016 as newer editions became available.

A self-taught, self-made man, Sir EJ has struggled mightily to live up to his soul's expectations of him, acquiring along the way, whatever it took to get them through the next stage in the development of the one person they are destined to become. His teachers have been the writings of such notables as the contemplative Thomas Merton, psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Zen Master D.T. Suzuki, and self-described philosophical anarchist Mahatma Gandhi. He has studied the beastly side of human nature for 30 years, and is now considered a leading authority in his field.



A Different Kind of Sentinel