Hackworth orphaned at an early age struggled to find a family that would tolerate his defiant behavior. Hackworth envisioned the military as a place where he would be accepted and gain the comradery he craved.
(Hackworth's grandparents, CA. 1890, About Face)
Hackworth's vision of the military was inspired by his grandmother who told him embellished stories of his family in the Revolutionary and Civil War. These stories generated Hackworth's deep patriotism.
Hackworth on His Childhood
(Merchant Marine, April 26 1989, C-Span)
At age 14, Hackworth joined the Merchant Marines. He became close to the sailors and soldiers while delivering them supplies and aiding them in tasks like shining their shoes. This pivotal opportunity created a long term respect and admiration for enlisted soldiers and led to him embarking on his military career.
(Merchant Marine, n.d. World Heritage Encyclopedia)