As a child, John Quinn had a dream of a naval career despite his affliction with cerebral palsy. After failing the physical exam, he underwent painful, self applied physical therapy for one year then successfully passed a second exam. He kept his cerebral palsy a secret from the record-keepers and medical authorities for 20 years. He had a distinguished and highly decorated career despite the pain he endured to appear normal. He served on board destroyers, a battleship, two aircraft carriers and functioned as an administrator for a Seal unit.
The outside world also impacted on him further aggravating his CP when he was challenged by alcoholism and excessive grief caused by the suicide of a brother. With help, John Quinn triumphed over both, as he did the painful cerebral palsy.