Becoming a father can be a life-changing experience that can make you question your own childhood and either feel appreciation or contempt for the men that were there for it. For Nick, it brought up the memory of the abandonment of his biological father and the physical, mental, and emotional abuse that he endured from his stepfather.
Being a mixed-race child has its own nuances, add to that the racist slurs his White stepfather constantly hurled at him and his two brothers and the painful fact that his mother never shielded him from any of this. It should come as no surprise that Nick signed up for the Marine Core as soon as he could as a way of escaping a terrible home situation, poverty, and a bad neighborhood
After years in the Marine Core Nick realized that all his life somebody had been trying to kill him and the people who should have been there to protect him had failed to do so. This had a profound effect on his life and caused him to understand that he needed to be to his sons and to himself the dad he never had.