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Tag Archives: Deaf returned citizens

Do you Support Transformative Healing?

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It takes the greatest amount of strength to overcome the world’s evil motto: Stigma.

Every day in the life of an American, while the life expectancy of the average American is almost 79 years, those who lack awareness to understand hate. Deaf returned citizens, in body, mind, and spirit would most likely have difficult life and expect shorter lives. Should we believe in necessity of the healing will allow them to live longer life—how does the transformative healing happen with Deaf returned citizens? They can become better people. Better wisdom. Better mentors. Better teachers.

We can make all the difference today in Deaf community by becoming part of collective family. Can we make their lives to change every day because of Deafhood networking like you? A good change is good! Reminding them to live in the past does not solve anything. Stigma is not the answer.

Bodies do heal, emotions are expected to lift, courage returns are best thing, and those Deaf returned citizens were once broken in body and spirit because whole, strong people. Trees are part of our soul-searching. They are the powerful tool to heal us! Appreciate the eyes of trees every day. Your contributions or support would be appreciated and make this possible.

 

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Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

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Chris Haulmark: Revenge and Punishment Does Not Win

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Do you think Chris Haulmark deserve a congressional seat for Kansas? The problem is that he is a Republican. That is one of many red flags. He also have a reputation for driven hatred—by rubbing in Deaf people’s faces back in 2015—Deaf Protest what is now Deaf Grassroots Movement (DGM) and viewed DGM as “prime recruiting ground.”

Chris acted as a “leader” along with his best friend from Indiana by oppressing those core leaders and he thinks he knows the best interests for so-called “Deaf Issues”—Oh yes, he was aggressive and confrontational about my participation as invited speakers and made successful to delete my knowledge through fear and lies and made Deaf Protest core leaders to remove me from the platform. I bet it makes Chris feel good about it.

I was invited by Deaf Protest core team to give an inspirational presentation to represent a non-profit organization as a Deaf community liaison to talk about variety of services to understand awareness training through advocacy that brings out the beacon of hope and pursuit of happiness providing successful reintegration with wavering support to improve criminal justice reform to heal Deaf returned citizens or Deaf inmates.

It is best to understand from Deaf returned citizen’s experience in some of the toughest times through a broken heart and through depression. Yes, I made mistakes especially when I was a young lost boy. I made a mistake at age of 12. I have only ONE felony record in my life and I would be more than happy to show the proof. This is an action that will always shape my life’s deeper than you might imagine. I’ve shown plenty of remorse and of course, I understand that my suffering does not equal the suffering I have inflicted. My Deafhood journey begun.

Chris Haulmark did this to me purely out of malice for sheer pleasure. It was fundamentally undemocratic. Bullying does not mean backing the right candidates. He was attempting to make it more difficult for me to fit into Deaf community and wanted me to be shunned in public. Hate has spewed by Haulmark was a directive outward for his own self-loathing. I will be always long shamed by an often ignorant and easily inflamed public and suffer more punishment. I saw a great quote that I thought I should share with you all:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.”-Robert A. Heinlein

He never apologized or admitted guilt. That is what most of Republicans would typically do by not admitting guilt. However, I do believe people can redeem themselves. If Chris admitted what he did, then it will start by acknowledging this irreparable harm. If not, then put a stop to Chris’s manipulation of democracy. Enough. It is time for more education and understanding about the complexities of bullying and hate.

The questions we all need to remind ourselves: What does Deaf community want of a Deaf returned citizen? Did Chris want only revenge and punishment and no hope for a future, to throw away the key? Since all of us have made mistakes in our lives, no matter what how small or large, do you ever think what life would be like with no chance to better or even redeem ourselves?

The most difficult thing is that Wes Arey, a Deaf returned citizen himself with four felonies has supported Chris Haulmark’s action. Arey knew that it was a criminal act by Chris or was Arey was too naive not to see it? How messed up is that?

Few people see the light of truth within this world of darkness, in the same way few birds escape from the net which has caught them”. –The World, verse 174

That is why I do not support Chris Haulmark to win the seat. He do not deserve it at all. Please do not support Chris or donate money. I will make everything to make sure Chris does not win the seat. Either Arey or Haulmark does not understand what United States Constitution Eighth Amendment means….that is why Haulmark is not qualified even Deaf issues, too. Oh, we do not need more Republicans anyway. Time for a change.

Funny thing is that the official state motto of Kansas in Latin: Ad Astra Per Aspera which means “To the Stars Through Difficulties” and that is why my late grandfather Earl who he was born in Kansas would tell me that Democrats would understand better about difficultites than Republicans. It’s true!  He was a true blue brother!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

http://kellywarnerlaw.com/what-is-actual-malice/

https://kuinfo.ku.edu/what-does-ad-astra-aspera-mean

Gallaudet University: Charity Reedy Warigon, a Finalist for Chief Diversity Officer

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I am a Deaf White Straight Male. I am an alumnus of Gallaudet University. As Gallaudet University is strongly white establishment system even today, the administration, majority of faculty and students are still predominately white. I am sharing my major concerns about Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) final three picks. I honestly think that Gallaudet University need to search again and pick the right people—there are plenty of qualified only Deaf People of Color candidates.

Focusing on Charity Reedy Warigon, a White Deaf privileged female who is a special assistant to the Vice President for Engagement at Gallaudet University. She is one of three finalists. As I am sure that Charity have an impressive resume that I will not deny that, but is she the right person?

Will she understand the “home” at Gallaudet University for people of color? Will she understand Deaf people of color’s power struggles in the white-establishment academy? Does Charity understand the character of Racism as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf people of color?

Although Gallaudet University has a Racism long history to be performed within the Deaf community, it has yet to stop marketing itself and treating Deaf people of color as its consumers. It should develop and share much needed “diversity and inclusiveness” catchword, and hardly ever offered resolutions. Even hate crimes is the face of “dark crime figure” known as under the rug at Gallaudet. Yes, you read this right, diversity is also about recognizing hate crimes and hate speech. It is rarely talked about.

The position for CDO must be responsible for demonstrating accountability for diversity and effectively communicating the accomplishments, needs and value of Deaf people of color to the public and to the world. Why Gallaudet University thinks Deaf people of color in language and cultural oppression should be oppressed was my comprehension. Once someone is oppressed, he or she learns to become the oppressor.

The problem is that Charity is white. I also realized that she did not attend an important event last March 2017 at Gallaudet University: Islamophobia Within Deaf Community. This is also part of diversity as well. I remembered seeing Charity to show up for an event Beyond Inclusion hosted by Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) that it did not include Deaf people of color on the panel. It was more important for Charity to attend this event than attending Islamophobia Within Deaf Community.

Link: https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2017/02/23/my-reflection-beyond-inclusion/

Although it is not the first time what Charity had done before. She was only an American sitting on Canadian Hearing Society [CHS] board making best interests for Deaf Canadians when she is not a Canadian. I think what she did was very selfish move. I believe that it applies to Deaf Canadians only when they understand Canada better than an American who does not live there. Is that also a power trip, no? Would we really describe Charity as a “leader” for the position of CDO?

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I think Charity knows better than that—and would make a wise decision to give CDO position to someone else who are qualified Deaf people of color. As in CDO search announcements via Gallaudet website, Charity may be “married to an African-American, she has exposure to the rich and diverse African cultures.” Still, it does not mean anything really. She will always have white privileges. Always. Even Deaf privileges that are often oppressed Deaf people of color. Ain’t that true or not?

Even though my Aunt Sue who is married to a Black male, I have strong exposure in Black cultures as I have many Black cousins, Aunts and family member. I still would not apply for CDO because I do not understand their experiences through pain and struggles. And I am a White Deaf man. I respect them first. That is a big difference.

Please, no hearing candidates that DOES NOT KNOW ASL either, too! Also, the CDO should be well-versed knowledge about LGBTA, Deaf returned citizens (which is the most marginalized and most oppressed group), ethnicity, socio-economic status, religious beliefs (for example, Islamphobia) and many others.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

https://www.gallaudet.edu/chief-diversity-officer-search/announcements/announcement—april-25

 

 

Deaf Community Lost a Broken Soul

Can Counseling Save Deaf Returned Citizens?

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Deaf butterflies are rooting for Deaf returned citizens FOR HOPE

From my experiences as Deaf returned citizen, having going through social rejection for more than 20+ years, I can point to three basic observations about Deaf returned citizens how they can learn that shape their lives into positive theme. I will explain in italic how my observations are translated into my experience. These observations have held true in my experiences not only as a returning Deaf citizen, but also in other environments.

OBSERVATION #1: Deaf returned citizens learn because they have questions about the subject matter. There are many different questions, practical, aesthetic, or curious–which render the subject worthy of life pursuit, but learning does not begin unless, and until, Deaf returned citizens form those questions.

How does that translate into positive learning? Before any new material is covered in your life, Deaf returned citizens first come to terms with the questions that make the material neccessary to learn. For example, how would they reintegrate back into the society, they must examine the pursuit of happiness first. Then they ask: How can they be prepared for life skills? As Deaf returned citizens try to answer this question with precision, the fact that the Deaf community must be a constant source of support that must be peripheral. 

OBSERVATION #2: Deaf returned citizens by defeating oppression into the society. Acquisition of oppression cannot take place by observation alone but by observation and engagement with people who understand struggles. There is true no less in oppression than it is in language bigotry or language hegemony where practice is essential for mastery.

How does this translate into positive learning? To master positive thinking, active learning is a core element of their learning. For example, Deaf returned citizens will benefit a lot from Deaf-centric counselors to identify their freedom, bound, and infectional, derivative or obsolete environment. Counseling will make a difference and learn from each other, using ASL for communication. 

OBSERVATION #3: Deaf returned citizens becomes best when they are challenged. They always work to the level of expectation that is set for them. High expectation and quality work will yield vivacious and inspired work, even among “vulunerable” Deaf returned citizens.

How does that translate into positive learning? In Deaf returned citizens “learning” courses, they shall design the goal and assessment for the “vulnerable” Deaf returned citizens just as much as the “more skilled ones” with a high view of confidence. Assessed work pushes Deaf returned citizens not only to master the basic content but also to express in creative and challenging ways. For example, a good exercise of counseling asks Deaf returned citizens to feel the true growing of pain. Deaf returned citizens are taught not only content but process, the methodology by which Deaf-centric counseling is generated. 

Deaf returned citizens interpretation is not only a tough challenge head-on, but also an exacting responsibility, too.  They deserve a better life in all shapes. For example, Deaf-centric counselors are trained to ensure that they receive a full support. Without Deaf-centric counselors, Deaf returned citizens would have much harder time to change their lives, that hearing counselors who proclaimed to be an expert in Deaf culture, set a good example of their own rule-governed communication system. Deaf-centric counselors have a lot to offer for Deaf returned citizens to the field of positivism.

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When Deaf-centric counselers can sense it in a Deaf returned citizen’s visible delight in receiving counseling using ASL, when counselors can read the excitement in Deaf returned citizen’s process about ASL. I cannot say anything better than Albert Camus, about rebellion when he wrote: The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”  I would like now to summarize my personal experience as a returning Deaf citizen in one word: passion.

Deaf returned citizens must teach themselves to enjoy learning if and only if they have passion to restore their lives, the molding of wits. The fact that only limited counseling resources and information are available indicates a lack of awareness. The importance of discussion forwards into modern circumstances continue.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

http://www.whitecandles.com.au/cancer-search-hope/

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/how-to-restore-balance-in-your-life-1/

We All Have Struggles

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Cherokee Story of Two Wolves:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Good day, folks!

There is a new norm that there is a Deaf returned citizen is attacking a Deaf returned citizen. Since I will use the middle name to justify who the Deaf returned citizen is, the name is Nicole. I can understand Nicole’s anger. I am reading a book at this hour called Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Nahh really made me think for days and days. I really regret that I did not read that book earlier in my life. It is better to read that book than waiting too late. Nahh writes:

“A good teaching is the kind of teaching that you can apply directly to your life, so that you can transform your suffering. When you are angry, you suffer as though you are being burned by the fires of hell. When you feel great despair or jealousy, you are in hell.”

Nicole’s anger who is full of anger makes sure I LIVE IN THE PAST and the false statements made against me was reckless and tried to make sure I taste harm or emotional suffering and harm my reputation what would be called character assassination. I do not need ANGER. Since I am part of Deaf community, I need to remind Nicole—“Community” means—it is a NOUN, as in dictionary: A feeling or fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes; interests, and goals.

My goals in Deaf community is to bring positive attitudes and empower Deaf returned citizens is my biggest interest right now. Nicole is a returned citizen, too. Do not preach DOUBLE OPPRESSION. Am I part of Deaf community? Nicole has had no authority to think that my figure should not belong in Deaf community. Attacking me is not going to work at all. Let it go. Another quote from the same book I am reading above:

“When a person’s speech is full of anger, it is because he or she suffers deeply. Because he has so much suffering, he becomes full of bitterness.”

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As a Deaf returned citizen working hard to change my life around, the damage is even more hurtful. I believe in hope. I have a story to tell, since activism has long been one of my passion and since I knew that to make inroads into the circles of empowering Deaf returned citizens as much as I can. Again, I do not need to live in the past. For the last time before I go, again, the wonder of the same book above shares the most important thought of the day:

“To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain with ourselves, happiness would not be possible.”

Anger is not the answer. I became better person to deal with the growing pains first and learn how to change my life around for the betterment. It is the only way to go. I do not need to live in Nicole’s shadows.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2010/11/two-wolves-native-american-legends.html

http://www.virtuesforlife.com/two-wolves/

 

My Life as a Returned Citizen

ASL National Anthem Signer

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Back in September 2014, I was invited to give a National Anthem in ASL for D.C. United, a pro soccer team in the honour of International Week of the Deaf where they selected HEARD [Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf] where I was a community liaison, lecturer and organizer–by volunteering hundreds and hundreds of hours to make phone calls, catch phone calls from Deaf returned citizens, Deaf prisoners, family members, writing letters, filling out log sheets, lectures, presentations, workshops, and the list goes–mentally, physically, and emotionally seven days a week with NO PAY.

I have had been doing this for two years and half. There were many times that I would be so broke that I would have two dollars left and would find a way to attend a workshop on my Metro card because I believed in making a difference and give Deaf returning/returned citizens hope. There were maybe two or three times that I would walk back home all the way on my feet. I put a lot of heart in this organization even if it was hearing-run business. That is where I saw something different after that.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

Political Aspects of Deaf Returned Citizens

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There has been a lot of political aspects of Deaf returned citizens life that are connected through their attitudes. In the society America breeds, Deaf returned citizens are being punished for their social, emotional needs and unraveling the fear.  I must first preface my state of being by asserting that I am 100% Deaf. I am not a licensed lawyer, but been beholder for quite long time after doing extensive research with my vigorous heart on this project by acquiring necessary accommodations for their optimal education experience continues to challenge Deaf returned citizens today.

Instead of exploiting myself and trying to present a life that allows people to feel tolerant and open-minded I present the struggles and triumphs of my life in a human way. There are good days and bad days. Sometimes people are insensitive. Hypersensitivity is not what Deaf people are seeking. The points brought up on the curbing of “disability” by sterilization are still pertinent to today and current practices.

It is evident from my experience that the field of Deaf Studies has not come to a head. There is more work to be done in order to make it so that the individuals who are not exploited in Literature and Film, but portrayed and seen as equals to individuals not exhibiting Deafhood. Being exposed to early literature and film makes one aware that even with vast improvements in rights and advantages that the Deaf people enjoy, there are still negative mentalities that have not been eliminated.

From Paddy Ladd, the author of Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood said that ” Deafhood is a process by which Deaf individuals come to actualize their Deaf identity, positing that those individuals construct that identity to their heightened forms by various forms such as nation, era, and class

For people who do not understand what Deafhood is—it means a process, a journey for all Deaf people. In better terms, the measurement is not required for who is Deaf or who is not. In advanced terms, it is not state, which focuses on people’s existential stances.

I would like to thank all the people who provided a support network to me as I struggle through my daily challenges. I feel overwhelmed with grief that had descended into depression. For the first time in a long time, I wonder how I would survive without the few people in my life who truly supportive.

In addition, I would like to thank Deaf Counseling Center (DCC) and it was a blessing for the center to be part of my life progress.

Without the guidance of DCC, I realized that I was self-medicating for the spiral of negative events that plagued me. Long before DCC came into my life, back in Oregon, I had difficulty finding professional counseling help to find an interpreter for me during my subsequent appointments and my appointments were delayed several weeks. With Deaf licensed professional therapists at DCC, I had been experiencing positive results with treatment, my therapy is still relatively new.

Even so, I find myself hopeful for my continued progress in my life. Today, there are thousands of Deaf returned citizens who are struggling with their lives without help of Deaf-centric counseling, they are not alone. They need to have some notion that they need to have some conceptualization of what they are to the community around us before they can comfortable live in the society. All people share this desire.

For example, they had been denied from the society along with the true sense of belonging. Their experiences have become an important part of their lives through “society” policies and laws that systematically oppressed them.

With this notion in place, the society needs to learn the social practices to centralize these oppositions and deconstruct Deaf returned citizens for the betterment of democracy, respect, and genuine appreciation of Deaf people.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

http://tipjones.com/uncategorized/4-quick-tips-to-overcome-fear/

What is Returning/Returned Citizen?

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It is good article to read—Washington Post wrote an excellent post in January 2015, ‘Returning citizens’ are still one of D.C.’s most marginalized and motivated groups and I will copy and paste the article here with the link below and understand what ‘returning citizen’ means. Yes, the Deaf community needs to be educated more about the term. It is a positive term. There are a lot of negative stereotypes and stigma that would hurt Deaf returning/returned citizens a lot–especially having very tough time finding employment, housing and even higher education, too. Labelings do hurt a lot.

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“I was unfocused. I was very violent at one point, and they taught me how to conduct myself, as a human being, as a father, as a man and a citizen of Washington, D.C.” 

Those were the words of Anthony Irving, speaking on stage at Busboys and Poets in Brookland on Tuesday night as part of an event called #ReturningCitizensMatter. It was an intimate affair in the new space’s Pearl Bailey room, but the stories told resonated strongly among the three dozen people present.

The event was organized by Ron Moten, the Ward 7 political gadfly and former co-founder of Peaceoholics, an anti-violence group. Moten is one among many who have worked to destigmatize those who have been convicted of a crime. No more “ex-offender” or “ex-con.” The term is now “returning citizen.”

But the reality is a jail sentence is often a career-ender.

The plight of someone coming back to society from incarceration is still largely misunderstood, and the population is inadequately served, comparatively. It is estimated that 60,000 people in D.C. have criminal records, with more than 8,000 returning each year from various prison populations. Recently a “ban the box” bill has been circulating through the City Council, an attempt to prevent employers from discriminating against job candidates based on their criminal records.

On Tuesday, the frustrations of a marginalized population were obvious. And it was clear that to them, the solution was help from a friend, family member or acquaintance, not necessarily the D.C. government. The panel featured a cable repairman, a realtor, a life coach and a landscaper. Tony Lewis Jr. — son of Tony Lewis, who ran one of D.C.’s most notorious drug cartels — was there, too,  advocating on behalf of the families of the incarcerated. They all told stories of getting back on their feet.

Anthony McDuffie, a sales agent at Anacostia River Realty, said he has Darrin Davis, the company’s owner, to thank for his career. For Davis, it wasn’t the first time he had hired a “returning citizen.” But this hire did come with better results, he said.

“I did have an ex-offender whose crime was so horrible, that after he’d been there I had to let him go,” said Davis, 49. “But I think everyone deserves a fair chance. A second chance.”

Davis has been in business for six years. He said he tries “to put myself in that person’s place about how serious they are and how much they want to change their lives. And if I can feel the sincerity, then I’ll be more than happy to help.”

According to the D.C. Department of Corrections, from fiscal years 2008 to 2014, the number of inmates dropped 41 percent, from 3,100 to 1,841. During the same time, the city began releasing inmates at a faster clip than previously. That means there are more people are out looking to rebuild lives. And the largest percentage of those people are black men, aged 21 to 30.

But those men face serious obstacles. According to an October 2014 report by the DOC, a whopping 37 percent of young men in custody self-reported their education level as none. No high school diploma, no GED. Nothing. And former mayor Vincent Gray’s newly formed D.C. Office on Returning Citizen Affairs is getting 0.2 percent of the DOC’s $140M budget.

For those men with limited education and limited job skills, life often seems to move at a snail’s pace. And it can be scarier than ever. They’re coming from a system that often breaks their will. They’re returning to a city they don’t recognize. Fewer of those small businesses that once might have given them a chance are still around.  It’s another side effect of gentrification that’s hard to see if you don’t know it first-hand.

Irving does, and he recounted as much in searing detail Tuesday.

“Dealing with emotional trauma is the most dangerous thing,” said Irving, 42, who owns Golden Seed Landscaping and Cleaning Services. He thanked his brother for helping him get a job with developer Chris Donatelli. Prison, he said, had left him scarred.

“What that place did to me, it was unreal,” Irving said. “I’ve seen what men told me: when we cut you, we gonna kill you. When we cut you, it’s ’cause of the color of your skin and the city you’re from. And I had one thing on my mind: how to survive and how to kill when I slept in a cell with boots on. You never know when them cell bars would come open. And somebody would run in there and slaughter me.”

With an increasingly strained voice, he talked about life after his 14-year term.

“I came home mentally disturbed,” he added. “Cars drove me crazy. I had a girlfriend. I had to get out of my house because the same fight was, she’d leave hair in the sink. I’d run in there in two minutes and clean it up. If she cooked, I’d wash the dishes in 2.5 seconds. I heard something in the hallway, I ran and got two knives and peeped out the peephole,” Irving said to nervous laughter from the crowd.

Irving’s landscape business has yet to turn a profit, but that hasn’t stopped him from reaching out to others. He has hired returning citizens like himself. And his company cuts senior citizens’ grass for free as a way to give back.

“It’s why every single day of my life, I try to help somebody. Money means nothing to me, clothes mean nothing to me,” he said.

“People talk about, they love their city? They will tell you in the federal system: I was ready to die for this city,” he added. “You talk about war? It was me. It was my name. It was my life. And I’d like to say that every single day, I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful to my brother. I am grateful to D.C. to give me an opportunity. For me, it’s not a joke.”

I’d hire that guy in a second.

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/01/16/returning-citizens-are-still-one-of-d-c-s-most-marginalized-and-motivated-groups/?utm_term=.23718cdcb1f5