This is the tale of a man who never surrendered. It’s dedicated to all of those who find themselves with their head low and often feeling scared and alone in the dark.
It all started far before many of you would expect it to.
Lets kick things off with a short back story. This guy hasn’t ever had a “good” male role model in his life, and at the age of 17 things got worse. That chapter ended with a rather violent fight with his step father, which turned into a rap sheet that grew at a rapid pace until he ended up sitting in court room and given an option. Ten years in prison, or meet the sharply dressed Army Recruiter that was behind him. Well he took the Army option because no one was gonna tell him what to do. He spent the next few years alienating himself from everyone except his brothers at arms and becoming quite the ummm, “combat warrior”. After he was discharged he began to spiral wildly. He crawled into a bottle, got aggressive towards everyone, until a Vietnam vet snatched him up and drug him out of a whiskey bottle. He slowly found some purpose again and decided to go to tech school in Florida for motorcycles. He graduated 3rd in a class of 150 with honors from Suzuki,Kawasaki, and the Peer Tutor programs. He came home again with dreams of having a shop and making a future. Well long story short that didn’t happen. He ended up catching a sex crime and forced into a plea bargain. So his life a pro criminal had landed him back in jail as a registrant and two years of probation ahead of him, again alone and friendless. Over the next year he faced a lot of adversities, one of which was having to learn to open up to anything at all. The next being that he needed friends….more so than he thought. After many days of feeling like things were ending he met someone, someone who became his best friend and helped him realize that being registered didn’t really mean that life was over. It didn’t change who he was, didn’t change his future plans, it just altered perception some. During his second year of treatment he picked back up, got all his reports done, landed himself on monthly group meetings, and even managed to earn two to four years of college paid by the government because of a company shut down. Last night he had his final group meeting and only has 14 days of probation left. Now he finds himself with a much brighter future, the love of his life, and many good friends with one that he’ll never forget or ever get tired of the countless hours spent on the phone swapping coffee stories. The therapist said to him last night that when she took over group a year ago that she was almost certain that he would end up in jail and never complete, but last night she stated that he was a story to be told, a story of a man who refuses to hang his head and go gently into that good night. She realized that sometime in his life he learned to rage against the dying light, to feel fear but overcome it, to stand tall in the face of hardship and adversity, against all odds.
Now for those who know, the story is about me, the best friend is Will, and the bottom line is that if you are registered or the family of a registrant, you are not alone. We are hear, and through us, your friends, you can learn to rage against the dying light, to lift your head high and learn to never ever back down to anyone or anything that lay in your path to your dreams and freedom. And when it comes time to look back on the anniversaries of your release from PNP or prison, never focus on the bad, focus on the good that has happened along your path. The things you wouldn’t have had, if your life hadn’t have turned out the way it did.
Me for instance, I wouldn’t have my friends, or my future without my life changing the way it did. I myself fully plan to get my bachelors in business and opening a motorcycle repair shop with a mission promise that all felons no matter the crime will be considered for employment before anyone else.