Salvation Army Salvationist Serving His Country

Staying in touch: Hernandez keeping ties with The Salvation Army as he serves his country

Before arriving at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina this summer, Wilber Hernandez was quite busy. The young man previously enrolled in the Marine Corps Musician Enlistment Option Program and, from there, Hernandez spent 13 weeks in boot camp and an additional month in combat training. Then, Hernandez attended the Naval School of Music, Marine Detachment, all prior to touching down at Camp Lejeune. Along the way, however, Hernandez never lost touch with The Salvation Army.

“I’m very busy, but every chance I get, I definitely want to stay involved,” Hernandez said. “If I’m going to go to a church, it’s going to be The Salvation Army wherever I am.”

Hernandez, from the Montgomery County, Maryland, Corps, recently returned from a mini-deployment in California. He is looking forward to planting deeper roots where he now resides just a stone’s throw from the Jacksonville, North Carolina, Corps. Well before he entered the military, though, it was clear that Hernandez was a strong Christian and a dedicated Salvationist, ready to share his faith with others.

“Wilber was a delegate at the NCV Divisional Music Conservatory when I first met him, and I remember Wilber as quiet and competitive,” said Bernie Dake, assistant territorial music secretary. “I witnessed an authenticity and a sensitivity that set him apart from other young people his age.”

“I’m incredibly proud of him as a Christian young man and Salvationist,” Dake said. “When I saw him recently, I asked him how he was doing and if he still loved the Lord. His response, without hesitation, was ‘most definitely. I love him now more than ever.’ You could sense his excitement and zeal.”

Upon arrival in his current post as a lance corporal in the Second Marine Division, it was clear to Hernandez that there was an opportunity for ministry. His military duties extend well beyond his position as a trumpet instrumentalist but, in service to others, he has invited more than a handful of his military co-workers to Salvation Army activities. One such gathering was a trip to the National Capital and Virginia Divisional Music Councils, honoring an invite from a person he describes as a “mentor” in NCV divisional music director David Delaney.

“My friends have really liked it,” Hernandez said. “I open it up to everybody, knowing that the military isn’t religious as an organization, but telling everyone what to expect. I have several friends who have loved the experience, both musically and even with spiritual elements. One of my friends, who identifies as an atheist, was curious enough to search out information on The Salvation Army, and another has been open with me in discussing his faith.”

In addition to the inherent ministry of bringing others to church-related gatherings, Hernandez intends to bring that passion to the local corps. He is already attending in Jacksonville – after saying he “found the corps on Google” when he came to the area – but, when January rolls around and travel commitments slow, he has big plans.

“Right now, one of the things I want to do is incorporate live worship in the corps,” said Hernandez. “That can have a great impact, especially in a smaller community. I’m also interested in, and have been talking to the local officer, kind of starting a beginner band program in Jacksonville. I’m already communicating with them about playing at a few kettles this season as well, with a few of my friends from the military. I think that’s a great ministry, too, and it’ll be interesting to see how much we can really help with that.”

For a young adult with a lot on his plate, Hernandez defies the odds in committing so much to ministry. Still, he seems to find passion in his own background, looking to pay that forward to others.

“I can tell my friends that I’ve been involved with the Army for 10 years and that this particular thing saved me,” Hernandez said. “The Salvation Army saved my life. I wouldn’t be where I am without it and I’m the first to say that to anyone.”


Original Article Found at :

Remembering General William Booth

On August 20, 1912, General William Booth—co-founder of The Salvation Army—was promoted to glory. More than a century later, his Army is bigger, stronger and more far-reaching than ever. The General’s legacy is The Salvation Army of today, his priceless gift to the poor and marginalized—a lasting tribute to the working of God in the life of an ordinary man who was able to do extraordinary things.

After the General was promoted to glory, tributes poured in from all over the world. King George V of the United Kingdom wrote to the Army’s new General (William’s son, Bramwell): “The nation has lost a great organizer and the poor a whole-hearted and sincere friend, who devoted his life to helping them in a practical way.” President Howard Taft of the United States wrote that the co-founder’s “long life and great talents were dedicated to the noble work of helping the poor and weak and giving them another chance to attain success and happiness.”

The media reaction was swift and effusive. The Daily Express in the United Kingdom reported: “The loss to the world is very real, and really felt.” The South African News said: “William Booth is dead. And with him passed away one of the most vivid and striking personalities the world has ever seen.” Describing The Salvation Army as “a miracle wrought in an age of materialism” it concluded: “You may disagree with the methods of the Army … but you must recognize the miracle and acknowledge the gifts of the miracle worker.”

In Canada, the Toronto Mail and Globe told its readers: “William Booth … accomplished in his lifetime a task of such world magnitude as commanded not recognition alone, but sincere personal admiration from three British sovereigns, and won the reverent affection of an innumerable host out of every nation of mankind.” The New York Times put it more simply: “No man of his time did more for the benefit of the people than William Booth.”

The scale of the reaction to the promotion to glory of the Salvation Army co-founder is difficult to rationalize from a modern viewpoint. For many people the closest experience is perhaps the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. Her funeral procession went through London streets lined with more than a million people. Booth’s funeral procession drew crowds of double that size!

Richard Collier’s biography of the founder, The General Next to God, records that 40,000 people attended the General’s funeral. Among this vast crowd were “thieves, tramps, harlots, the lost and outcast to whom Booth had given his heart.” Also there—sitting unnoticed by many at the rear of the hall—was Queen Mary, wife of King George V. This was as clear a message as any that the man who had begun his work among the outcasts of society had touched the hearts—and maybe stirred the consciences—of even the most privileged people.

Some people may question the point of remembering the death of the Army’s co-founder, but this article is not a memorial—it’s a cue for both remembrance and celebration. Even in 1912, the understandable sadness of loss was accompanied by what The Times of London reported as an “air of gladness pervading the ranks of the Army.”

When William Booth “laid down his sword”—as Salvationists were informed in 1912—his Salvation Army was at work in 58 countries. Today, that number is 131 and growing. The General’s “promotion to glory” should be treated as just that—a “promotion,” a moving on, a stepping forward. We do not reflect morbidly on what has been lost but instead we celebrate the legacy and influence of a great man who, 107 years ago, went to meet his maker and claim his eternal reward.


Adapted from an article published on for the 100th anniversary of William Booth’s promotion to glory.


Last year, more than 260,000 kids attended a summer or day camp with The Salvation Army, primarily at one of its 44 camps across the U.S. This is just one account of a life impacted at summer camp. Camp is about giving kids hope—a new perspective about who they are and what they can do in this world. I made up an acronym to clarify my vision: Helping Obscured Potential Emerge. With God’s help we encourage kids to see that they have unlimited potential in this world.

I’ll never forget an 8-year-old girl with a disfigured face who came to camp. During my first chapel I told the kids, “God loves you” and “God thinks you’re beautiful.”

Afterward, the girl came up to me and said, “God doesn’t love me.”

“Why do you think that? I asked.

“Because I’m ugly,” she said. “Even my family says I’m ugly.”

My heart was sad, but I smiled and said, “You know what? I know God loves you. He says he does, and God never lies. God does think you’re beautiful. And so, do I.”

She shrugged and walked away.

At the final chapel of the week, we told the kids they could come up and speak to God about becoming part of his family. This little girl was one of many who spent time talking to God and receiving Jesus in his or her heart. We asked the campers to tell someone right away about what they did, so I went outside to wait for them to share with me.

One of the last kids out was this girl. She came over to me and said, “You know what?”


“God loves me,” she said.

“I know,” I said, and we high-fived.

She turned and started to go, then stopped and turned around.

“You know what else?”

“No, what?”

“God thinks I’m beautiful!” She gave me a hug, turned and ran off.

Hope? New perspective? Yep, we can do that.  Amen.

= = =

From Caring, a publication of The Salvation Army that is dedicated to helping you do good right where you are.

Salvation Army Hires New Development Director

Greg Tuck, CFRE to Lead Development Operations for The Salvation Army National Capital & Virginia Division.

The Salvation Army National Capital & Virginia Division welcomes Greg Tuck, CFRE as the new Divisional Director of Development. Tuck will manage the day to day operations of the divisional development department and support Salvation Army field units in building their resource development operations throughout Virginia and the National Capital area.

Just prior to coming to D.C., Tuck was the executive director at Star Lake Camp and Conference Center, a premier Salvation Army facility in Bloomingdale, New Jersey. While there, Tuck provided leadership of the operations, including a $5 million capital improvement plan for the camp. Tuck also oversaw the development and construction of the $3.5 million Chapel at Worthington Woods that serves as a church home and community center for the north side of Columbus, Ohio. Tuck has a strong background in nonprofit management as well as deep family ties to The Salvation Army with parents who served as officers in South Africa, England and Sri Lanka. His passion to help people and communities affected by poverty will be a driving force behind his work in this area.

“Greg brings a wealth of knowledge in the non-profit and fundraising arena to our Division,” said Lt. Colonel Mark Israel, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army National Capital & Virginia Division. “In his past service to The Salvation Army he has demonstrated expertise in building relationships and partnerships. He will be a great asset to our Division as we grow programs to serve those in need in God’s name.”

A devastating series of tornadoes that ripped through eastern Alabama on Sunday forged further east to discharge a measure of their fury throughout

Salvation Army Helps Those Impacted by South GA Tornadoes

A devastating series of tornadoes that ripped through eastern Alabama on Sunday forged further east to discharge a measure of their fury throughout the South Georgia region. In Columbus, GA, just thirty miles east from the main devastation located in Lee County, AL, The Salvation Army partnered with local authorities to strategize how best to help those in Georgia impacted by the winter storm.

On Monday afternoon, The Salvation Army of Columbus started cooking meals for first responders and residents impacted by the tornados either picking up the pieces of their homes or refuging at a Red Cross shelter in Talbotton, GA, where over sixty homes were damaged or completely destroyed.  “We are here to do all the good we can,” says Pastor Michael David, shelter director at The Salvation Army of Columbus and leader of the disaster relief cooking operation for The Salvation Army of Columbus. Salvation Army canteens from Columbus and Newnan, GA work alongside Red Cross units to deliver meals prepared each day by the Columbus Corps.

One hundred and forty miles to the south, in Cairo, GA, The Salvation Army of Thomasville, GA started cooking meals today for responders and impacted area residents that were gathered at a Red Cross shelter located in Grady County, where an EF2 tornado with winds of 120 mph shook houses, toppled trees downed power lines. Canteens from Thomasville and Bainbridge, GA deliver 550 meals to the shelter and to impacted residents for lunch and dinner.

“We are humbled and prepared to provide relief services to our fellow residents in Georgia impacted by this devastating weather,” says Lanita Lloyd, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army of Georgia. “And we will continue to assess and deploy Salvation Army disaster relief resources when and where they are needed.”

Lloyd says on Wednesday The Salvation Army plans to also start distribution of cleanup kits to help residents impacted by the storms.

How to Help

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation.

Captain Malaika Good "An unquenchable desire for relationship and love"

Captain Malaika Good “An unquenchable desire for relationship and love”

I was born and raised in a Muslim family in Roanoke, Virginia. We worshiped at the mosque, wore our head coverings, prayed five times a day, stayed away from pork, and practiced the religion in all its entirety. And yet, it was just that, religion.

My father was in and out of prison most of my life, and my mother worked multiple jobs to keep us afloat. Because of this, an unquenchable desire for relationship and love grew within me.

When I was eight, my cousins invited me to go skating at a “community center” in Roanoke. My mom, excited for a babysitting service, allowed my sister and me to attend, and thus started my introduction to The Salvation Army. There, my desire for love and acceptance started to be fulfilled as officers and local leaders began to pour into me and teach me the gospel truth.

For years, my parents allowed me to attend this “community center,” not realizing that through this, I met the One and Only true God.

I quickly became a Sunbeam, Junior Soldier, active in the music programs, and attended faithfully any program and event I could. I went to Camp Happyland every summer and attended youth councils and TYI. My relationship with the Lord grew, and my desire to give Him all of Malaika grew with it. With every new officer, I felt the love and acceptance that I had so desperately craved from living in a single mother household.

Through all of this, my mother became aware of my conversion and relationship with Christ, but my father, still a practicing Muslim, was not in the know.

One Sunday, my corps officer, Captain Tabitha Roberts, asked me if I had given any thought to officership. This idea was completely foreign to me, yet was so very close to who I was. My desire in life was to be loved, be known and have relationships, and here was an offer to bring about the very change I had so desperately craved as a young girl. I knew, in that moment, this was the calling God had placed on my life.

There were many obstacles to get to the point of Salvation Army officership – my father, my age, issues within my family. Yet with every obstacle, the God who called me was faithful and settled every problem. Through God’s grace, I was able to be completely open with my father, who unexpectedly supported and encouraged me.

I attended Evangeline Booth College in 2011 at the age of 18 and was commissioned with the Friends of Christ session. Every day, I have the privilege to bring about holy change in the lives of those I encounter, the same change officers helped ignite in me as an 8-year-old Muslim girl from a single mother household.

God has called me to be a Salvation Army officer and to reach those who are like that young 8-year-old girl.

Captain Malaika Good is a corps officer in Hampton, Virginia.

Original Article Featured in The Southern Spirit Online

The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band marches in the Rose Parade for the 100th time on 1 January 2019 in Pasadena, CA.


NEW Year’s Day 2019 marked the one hundredth occasion of a Salvation Army band marching in the world-famous Pasadena Rose Parade. This year’s event in the Southern Californian city saw record numbers of Salvation Army musicians taking part – the majority of them young people. More than 400 instrumentalists participated, from bands across the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as individual musicians from Brazil, South Africa, Jamaica and India.

The Tournament of Roses Parade travels along the city’s Colorado Boulevard, cheered on by more than one million spectators with many millions more watching live on national television. The Salvation Army is the longest-serving band that has taken part in the parade, morphing from the small Pasadena Tabernacle Corps band that first appeared in 1920 to the international gathering of musicians in 2019.

The Salvation Army Rose Parade Band is organised by the California South divisional music department, led by Bandmaster Kevin Larsson, who has served in the post for 18 years. ‘It is the world’s biggest open-air,’ he says. ‘That’s why we keep on investing into it … we’re playing “Amazing Grace” or “Stand up for Jesus” and often the name of the song is displayed on TV, so we can reach millions, millions and millions with that ministry.’


In order to rehearse for this unique event, bands started to arrive on 26 December. ‘When they get to camp they’re not going to be playing in the bands that they travelled with; they’re going to be playing mixed up [into eight international sub-bands], so we want good fellowship and meeting new people,’ explains Jacqui Larsson, California South Assistant Divisional Programme Secretary. ‘One of the main challenges we have is that the bands that participate practise for hours every morning for years to actually be in the parade, and we only have one rehearsal … We just have to expect and hope that they’ve memorised it all.’

Recently retired Chief Executive Officer of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association and bandmaster at The Salvation Army’s Pasadena Tabernacle, Bill Flinn, explains that in a single block The Salvation Army band can pass up to 25,000 people. ‘The Salvation Army is one of two Christian organisations that are in the Rose Parade,’ he says. ‘The Tournament of Roses hears from many people about the enjoyment of having a Salvation Army band there, but … [from our perspective] it is probably the largest exposure that The Salvation Army has in any one given effort.’

The musical outreach continued into the new year, with the musicians staging a special concert at Tustin Ranch (California) Corps on 2 January featuring music such as ‘Let There Be Light’, ‘Lord, Lift Me Up’ and ‘The Fruit of the Spirit’, before the massed bands played ‘Auld Lang Syne’. The 350 youth band members also led worship in eight Salvation Army corps and performed at a basketball game and at a ‘bandfest’ for 10,000 people. The international group also marched through Disneyland on 3 January, beginning – appropriately – at the ‘It’s a Small World’ attraction.

Tustin Ranch corps officer Captain Nesan Kistan reflects: ‘I believe the ministry of our bands speaks to us of the healing power of our risen Saviour … releasing the power of God’s presence, which is with us always.’

Salvation Army Martinsville bell ringers just want to give back

Salvation Army Martinsville bell ringers just want to give back

The Salvation Army Martinsville Corps has helped Steven and Diane Yohn in hard times, and now they want to give back by volunteering as bell ringers.

“I don’t want to be paid. We really need volunteers,” Diane Yohn, 66, said Friday as she stood ringing a bell near one of the main entrances at Walmart in Martinsville.

At another store entrance with bell in hand was Steven, 66, seated in a walker next to a red kettle.

 “For the last few years they’ve helped us, and this is the least we can do to thank them,” he said.

This is their third year ringing a bell for the local Salvation Army branch.

“I’m always happy to help the Salvation Army. They helped me and my husband through hard times,” Diane said. “They were there for us. This is the least we could do.”

The Yohns also at times have eaten at the Salvation Army’s regular meals on multiple days of the week, she said.

“Last year, if it wasn’t for the Salvation Army, we wouldn’t have had a Christmas dinner or a Thanksgiving dinner,” Diane said.

In addition, the Salvation Army kept the Yohns’ electric power on when they couldn’t pay a nearly $300 power bill,

“It just felt great for somebody to care, as they do,” Diane said “They’re out there feeding people…. They have the angel tree that helps the children that ain’t going to have a Christmas.”

The couple knows how rough finances can be for someone living on a fixed income.

“It’s a little rough for me and my husband because you get one check a month,” Diane said Steven is a retired truck driver and she worked as an office cleaner.

Diane is borderline diabetic and has a learning disability.

Said Steven of his ailments: “I’ve had 12 heart attacks. I died 12 times and they brought me back.”

He added that he sees people in need of help and he and his wife feel the need to give back.

“God has been great to my wife and me, and now since He has been good to me, I can be good to other people,” Steven said.

Steven said he enjoys bell ringing and encountering people.

Steven described the touching moments he’s witnessed as a bell ringer, such as the time a mother gave each of her children five pennies to put in the kettle, and then she put in $5.

“Tears came to my eyes, because I see them little kids. That’s the future of the churches and the future of our country,” Steven said.

Another time recently, Steven said, it was cold and a woman came up and asked if he drank coffee. He told her yes.

She then left and, roughly 10 minutes later, returned with a double cheeseburger and a cup of coffee.

“I’ve had people in the past come up and give us doughnuts and coffee and stuff like that,” Steven said. “The (bell-ringing) locations we’ve been to, workers and management would bring us stuff,” Steven said.

Lt. George Keith of the Salvation Army Martinsville Corps said the kettle campaign goal is $60,000, and donations are lagging.

Also, more bell-ringers are needed.

“We have two weeks left of our kettle campaign,” Keith said.

Anyone interested in ringing the bell can call 276-638-7259.

On October 10, 2018, hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall in the United States, ripped through the Florida Panhandle.

Life After The Storm

On October 10, 2018, hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall in the United States, ripped through the Florida Panhandle. A violent Category 4 storm, Michael pounded Panama City, Fla., and surrounding areas. The eye was 105 kilometres wide, winds were at 225 km/h and 1,000 tornadoes peeled back the landscape of what was once known as the Emerald Coast. The result was utter devastation and an estimated loss of $414 billion. It could take 15 years for the area to return to “normal.”

“So many lives have been changed forever,” says Florida Governor Rick Scott. “So many families have lost everything. This hurricane was an absolute monster.” Tens of thousands of homes were unlivable, businesses were turned into piles of splintered lumber, and gas stations and strip malls were crumpled. Entire roofs were torn away, trees were severed in two, and the widespread and catastrophic damage made the city unrecognizable to local residents.

Three weeks after Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle, I was deployed for 14 days to Panama City with a 12-member incident management team from the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s emergency disaster services. While residents coped with destruction and devastation, we oversaw operations, communicated with media outlets and ensured the delivery of hot meals, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, tarps, and emotional and spiritual care. At the height of deployment, 20 canteens were feeding 12,000 people a day.


As our team’s public information officer, my role was to communicate to the public and to The Salvation Army about the state of operations and how we were supporting those affected by the storm.  As I travelled to canteen locations that were serving hot meals, delivered backpacks to children and teachers at a local school, and made home visits to check on peoples’ well-being, I heard frightening stories of riding out the storm, saw so much of what people had lost, and watched in awe as they persevered in the midst of immense destruction. But even in the midst of their pain and extreme heartache, their warmth, resilience and positivity was incredible. They had lost homes, livelihoods and their lives were literally turned upside down, yet they greeted me with friendly smiles and grateful words.

“We were seven huddled together in the bathroom―the best safe room with one door and no windows,” says Jolynn, whose home was severely damaged by the hurricane. “When we heard the wind pull up the roof and drop it down many times we thought we were going to die. We heard trees cracking. Then suddenly three quarters of the roof ripped away from the house. We were under one big skylight.”

“When the eye of the storm came through, I held tight to my husband in a hallway,” explains Sherri as she tells me about her experience with Michael. “We felt the walls of our home breathe like lungs. A 6,000-pound maple tree crashed down on the side of our house. We were trapped in our collapsing home and convinced we wouldn’t get out alive.” Sherri and her husband, Rick, are now living in their camper in the driveway in front of their destroyed home.

A Tiny Light

“What can we do?” asked Lieutenant Stefan Reid, corps officer at Vernon Community Church in the British Columbia Division and our team’s planning chief, when he stumbled upon a little white church that was only half standing. “We need food. I can’t keep going,” replied Karen, the pastor’s wife. In the three weeks since the hurricane, she and her husband, Eddie, and two volunteers, had been serving 100 people a day out of four crockpots.

“There were tarps over the building and no electricity,” Lieutenant Reid explains. “In the back of the fellowship hall, with insulation falling and wires exposed, people affected by the hurricane were getting non-perishables, simple supplies, bedding, clothing and blankets.”

Calloway is a low-income neighbourhood located nine kilometres from Panama City. Most of the 150 residents couldn’t evacuate due to lack of transportation and all were left with significant damage or mobile homes that were completely destroyed. The only shelter for many were the tarps that hung everywhere.

While our team was initially overwhelmed by the extent of destruction and the demand for services, it was a privilege to bring relief and a glimmer of hope to those we were called to serve.

“We all wanted to stay and keep giving until we couldn’t give any more,” concludes Lieutenant Reid. “The Salvation Army was a tiny light in the midst of the storm.”

Article contributed by Linda Leigh is the staff writer in the territorial public relations and development department.

After becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol at a young age, R&B artist Kem, was living homeless on the streets of Detroit. Salvation Army ARC, which he

R&B artist Kem defeats addiction with help from Salvation Army ARC

After becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol at a young age, R&B artist Kem, was living homeless on the streets of Detroit. He was going from shelter to shelter until he had his first experience with a Salvation Army ARC, which he claims as a turning point in his life.

I am the eldest child with three sisters, born in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve never met my biological father. My stepfather has been in my life since I was three years-old. When I was four we moved to the metropolitan Detroit area. First, we lived in Pontiac for about 10 years and then we moved to Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Both my parents worked, but we didn’t know our parents were struggling. We had both parents in the home, always had enough to eat and at Christmas always had presents, toys stacked to the ceiling. In many ways, we had a normal family dynamic.

We left Pontiac my freshman year of high school for Southfield—quite a culture shock. We were one of the first African American families on our street. There was a large Jewish community and there still is. I delivered papers throughout the community and became very familiar with a lot of the Jewish traditions. We went from living in a blue-collar community to a suburban lifestyle. I was really out of my element. The kids and families in Southfield had experiences that we didn’t have. They had seen more, experienced more. I was like a fish out of water.

I was also starting to come into being a teenager and a lot of things happened to me that set the stage for me to try to find solace in alcohol and drugs. What I discovered about myself later was that as a child I was probably clinically depressed. Because I lacked better coping skills I started using alcohol and drugs. Alcoholism is something that is present on both sides of my family: my mom is a recovering alcoholic. She went into treatment and my parents learned new tools and developed a healthier way of living.

I was just beginning full-blown drug and alcohol addiction. I could no longer be a part of my family dynamic, at least not in the house. They were trying to become the best versions of themselves and my behavior and addiction were impediments. So, I left home at the age of 19 and began my downward spiral into homelessness and addiction. I flopped around the neighborhood for a while, different friends’ houses. My friends would sneak me in and let me stay the night. I continued to drink and use drugs.

My first experience with the Salvation Army ARC (Adult Rehabilitation Center) was in Pontiac. I initially went to get off the streets. Any recovery would have been just a by-product, but I was eventually discharged for using. I went to the classes they had there. I would go for periods of time and not drink. But I was always using something and not fully coming to terms with my addiction or with what it would take to overcome it. I learned some things but I was not yet ready to get sober.

After that I went to the Salvation Army ARC in Detroit. I was discharged from there for drinking.I spent some time on the streets. I went back to that ARC after having spent the hardest week of homelessness. I was pretty beat up. I was sleeping outside on the Detroit River, on the eve of my biological birthday, when I surrendered. I didn’t know at that time that’s what happened. I gave up trying to do things my way. I became open to what ideas and suggestions that people had. I was willing to do whatever was necessary to facilitate change in my life.

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