“I'm 34 years old. I grew up in Bryan, College Station. I played sports my whole life: my freshman year of high school I played soccer, baseball, football, and tennis for my high school. I had a verbal commitment to go and play baseball at the Air Force, in Colorado Springs. They flew me out there, I stayed there for a week in the dorms with the baseball players. Practiced with them, everything.
But in my junior year [of high school], I blew out my knee completely. I had two surgeries on it. I was on crutches for over a year. When you try to go into the military, you have to be physically perfect. So I lost that.
I never did any drugs or drinking or anything until after my knee surgery. That's when I started smoking a little bit of pot, drinking a little bit of beer. I always worked - I was always in the oil field. But I was always doing drugs. I used meth and weed. Stayed high all day, every day. I'd stay up for weeks. I've stayed up more days than I can count. If you ask me the longest I've ever stayed up, I wouldn't even know. I would just stay up until I literally crashed out. I can't believe I haven't killed myself or somebody else driving. I've been woken up by police at stop lights. I've been woken up at drive-throughs. I've been asleep in people's driveways that I didn't know. It's a miracle I'm still alive. So I know God has a plan for me.
I got in quite a bit of trouble over the last 15 years. Ended up doing a little bit of time [in prison]. I have 7 felony arrests, but only 2 convictions. My lawyers have beaten my other charges. But it still makes it tough to get a job.
I came to this Christian halfway house/rehab where I'm at now and I gave my life to the Lord. Everything has just changed dramatically. I've been out of [prison] just 9 months, and I gotta do a year here. After four months I started driving a dump truck, and then I found a wallet on the road. It just so happened to be from a manager at Saltgrass Steakhouse. So I got a job waiting tables [on weekends]. And then I did some volunteer work at the United Way, unloading 18-wheelers.
[At the United Way] I had mentioned some about being interested in welding. And they told me about [SER], so I just called. Ultimately the United Way paid for my gas while I was going to school. So I started going to the Houston Community College [for the SER Welding Training]. I'm an hour and a half from the campus, with no traffic. I was just working half a day driving the dump truck, going to school in the afternoon. And then I bumped into a welder who needed help. So then I quit driving the dump truck, and I was working at that new Typhoon waterpark in Katy.
We finished the job [at the waterpark], and this job in the oil field opened up. I'll be doing all kinds of different stuff for them. A little bit of welding, too. Things have been going my way.
So where I'm at today? I'm further along that I've been since I got out of school. I'm headed in the right direction. Actually on June 20th, I'll be clean for 17 months. Which is a miracle in itself. I've been clean a couple of times for 30 days, because I've gotten in some trouble and I've paid enough money to stay out of prison. I just had to go to a rehab. So I've done a couple of 30 day rehabs. I did have to do 90 days one time, in county jail. So I was clean for those 90 days. But other than that, in the last 15 years, I've gone 90 days one time, 30 days a couple of times and that was it.
My main thing out of everything is that with God, anything can happen. If I can turn my life around, anybody else can. The concept is easy, but the work of it is hard. I'd be lying if I said it was easy. But if you do the work and hang around other people that are trying to achieve… you are your surroundings. I've started to believe that.
What you put in is what's going to come out. And if you put in good, good is going to eventually come out. Not saying that bad things don't happen, or that there aren't any hiccups on the road. There's some mishaps. But if you maintain a positive attitude, you can find the good in anything.”