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W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Saved My Life

A Letter From An Inmate Apprentice

This started as just a way to get some things off of my chest really late a few nights ago. Sort of a journal entry, if you will, to lighten the load of my current circumstances. But God put it on my heart to share this with everyone here today so you all would know what this program really means to the men involved. And you can’t really tell God no without facing extreme consequences anyway, so I revised it somewhat and would like to share it with you all.

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids saved my life…For most of my existence I didn’t know what I wanted out of life, or even how to just be happy. I bulldozed my way through nearly three decades destroying everything and everyone in my path. I hurt my family and bought my friends. I treated people with disrespect if I acknowledged them at all. Even worse, I lied, I cheated, and I stole; sometimes to and from people I didn’t know; sometimes to and from those who loved me most. I spent most of my time taking from people. It is an exhausting way to live. W.A.G.S. 4 Kids has given me the chance to give back for all the taking I have been doing for so, so long. Now, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to train amazing animals to do amazing things for amazing people, an I owe it all to the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids family. This includes my fellow trainers, the amazing individuals behind the scenes that we don’t see on a regular basis, Wendy, Lisa, Josh, Sergeant Roberts, Sergeant Schaeffer, and last but not least, the most important piece of the puzzle, the awesome families we train these beautiful animals to assist. They say, you are to average of the five closest people you surround yourself with. These days, I try to associate with people who have better ideas than myself. I know I’m not perfect and I know I have a long way to go to catch up with most of the people around me, but I will never give up my hope and I will never give up my faith because

…W.A.G.S. 4 Kids saved my life

~This was written and read aloud by Justin at the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Christmas Party at GCI on December 22, 2014. Justin is now participating as a contributing author to Volume 2 of 'Dogs Don't Speak English' specifically focusing on the training methods for Autism Service Dogs. Publication coming Fall of 2015

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