Case for Support DIGITAL - Flipbook - Page 12
Hello, my name is Erik J. and I am a proud member of Brothers in Blue.
The first thing that caught me off guard was the realization that the people who
taught the classes were all people that could be doing something else other than
teaching those classes. Whether the teacher was a noble civilian taking time away
from their family or a noble BIB alum taking time away from his routine and
interests the impression that it made on me was the same. "Wow", I thought. "I
don't know that I could care that much about these students to read material,
plan lessons, conduct classes and answer questions (of various relevance) in the
hopes that at least one of them will be better prepared to reenter into society."
That kind of effort takes a special kind of person to make it.
The second thing that hit me that I did not in any way expect when I joined was
the very real sense of community within the program. The guys around you care
about you and your development as a person on a deep level. Friendship is one
thing that the walls of prisons cannot keep out. In my early career as a BIB
member, I was going through some pretty difficult times in my personal life. I
was living a life that was full of self-destruction, damaging of relationships and
hypocrisy. As it turned out, the way out of those behaviors and errors in thinking
was through the help and support of my brothers in the program along with a
serious dose of self-honesty and practicing the principles that I was being
regularly exposed to in the various phase one classes. These relationships
continue to this day and I expect a few of them will last a lifetime. Thanks again,
At the time of this writing I am approaching my 90th day of life after prison. I
live alone in a lovely two-bedroom apartment. I am employed as a welder at a
nearby steel shop. I regularly spend time with friends and family. I have been able
to sample the cuisines of the world that I used to only be able to dream about
while still inside. I have even hosted a dinner party. Yes, life is good. But it is
readily obvious to my family and to myself that my favorable experience here on
this side of the fence could not be what has been without the relationships,
conversations, laughter, fellowship, struggles and support that I shared and
continue to share with my brothers in BIB.