As Billy Jack started his career in the oil field, A’Leta had went to school to be a nail tech. She and her best friend started the salon “Hello Beautiful”. It was on track to be the top salon in the state. She had a great career going. A’Leta was a great mother and mostly stayed home with Carney while Billy Jack was at the rig. She scheduled most of her clients for the week Billy Jack was at home so he could stay with Carney. It was a great set up and they were saving a little money as well as having a lot of fun. As A’Leta was excelling at the salon, Billy Jack was moving up in the oil field, and I mean literally. Billy Jack started out as a clean up hand, picking up cigarette butts on location. It wasn’t long before he had moved up to floors and then when the old rig 72 stacked, he was moved to a new rig 226. It was there that Billy Jack was given the opportunity to really shine. He was asked to fill in for a guy who was moved up to derricks but was scared of heights. The derrick board is about 150ft off the ground. It was not long before Billy Jack had the job and he loved it.
On March 3rd 2006 just after 11:30pm that Friday night a stripper rubber failed and allowed gas to escape from the hole. It was believed it was static electricity that caused a spark just large enough to ignite the inferno. Billy Jack was trapped in a fire of well over 1500 degrees and it lasted for over 20 seconds. He was actually melting alive. At just about 12:03am, A’Leta received the dreaded phone call. It was the same superintendent that hired Billy Jack telling A’Leta to come to the door. All that he knew was there was an explosion on the rig. Since he knew the operation we were in, he knew where Billy Jack was and that he was probably dead. As A’Leta was getting hher few things together and getting her dad to get Carney, Billy Jack was fighting for his life. He had to work with the other hands to try and get down. Yes, he was still conscious. After they got him to the rig floor they toted him to the ground in a basket type gurney. They sat him in the gravel and he heard one say “ how are we going to get him out of that”. Billy Jack stood up, and it was a fearful sight to say the least, but he walked into the ambulance and lay down.
Billy Jack is one of the worst living burn survivors in the world. The mental and physical strength this family has is truly a gift from God. Billy Jack amazed the doctors and nurses that came to see him from all over the world. He was given less than a 0 percent to live and told if he did survive he would be years in the hospital. He proved them all wrong, and walked out 4 months and 17 days later.
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