Troy’s Times – November 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…Lock Up Your Loved Ones Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: Lock up Your Loved Ones “All you need is love.” John Lennon When I discovered I was being released from prison five years earlier than I had expected, my family and I kept it a secret from my son, Eric. It just so happened that my release date was thirteen days before Christmas, so my parents quickly made arrangements for Eric to spend Christmas vacation with them in Phoenix. This didn’t raise any red flags for Eric because he had been doing this every other year for this past seven years. On the day that my son flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, my father, mother, brother, sister and I drove down to greet Eric. My mother, father and sister went to the gate Eric was scheduled to arrive at, and my brother and I stayed back four gates, I on one side of the hallway with a hat and sunglasses on, my brother on the other side with a video camera, taping the entire scene. As Eric got off the plane my parents and sister greeted him with hugs and kisses, and after exchanging pleasantries began heading in my direction. At this time, I stepped away from the wall and began walking towards them. As I approached them I stepped in front of the group and said, excuse me could someone please tell me what time it is? Out of the corner of my eye I could see my son’s face, his mouth wide open and his eyes as big as saucers. Answering my question my mom said, “It’s 7:30.” “Thank you very much,” I said and stepped around them, continuing on. Behind me I could hear my son saying, “That was my dad!” My father said, “That wasn’t your Dad, Eric, you know where your Dad is.” A second passed and my son said, “I’m telling you, Grandpa, that was my Dad. Go get him!” That, of course, was all I could take and I spun around, ran back to my son and spent the next five minutes
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Troy’s Times – October 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…Letting Go Of The Life Sentence Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: Letting Go of the Life Sentence “We did what we knew. When we knew better, we did better.” Maya Angelou I mentioned before that, when I was released, it was under special circumstances. It was uncommon that I was to go to live with my parents. Since this option was the only one available, my parole officer was sent over to my parents’ house to assess the environment. He interrogated them, opened drawers, searched for firearms and treated them with a sense of overall disdain. After all, their son was a drug addict bank robber. That was when my dad truly realized what it meant for me to be coming to his house. Up to that point, it had meant only excitement and celebration. I had been released five years early. His son who had turned his life around, earned two degrees, and kicked drugs for good was coming home. But, when they were held to the scrutiny of an officer of the court, it all came rushing home to him—the nights they spent worrying about me the last time I lived under their roof, the lying, the stealing, the heartache, the pain. He had let that happen under his roof once already and he’d be damned if it was going to let it happen again. I had just had a conversation with my dad about how exciting my latest turn of events was, and next thing I knew, I was on the phone with him again, but this time he was lambasting me like I was still back in high school. He started laying down ground rules about curfews, respecting his house, staying away from drugs, getting a job, becoming a productive member of society. He had been fooled by me before and he wanted me to know that he wasn’t going to take any funny business this time. Well, I hung up the phone and thought about it for a minute and for the first time since the news of my early release, I realized that being freed
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Troy’s Times – September 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…From Hole to Whole Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: From Hole to Whole “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson The “Hole” was a 6 by 9 foot cell, containing a steel bunk bed, a stainless-steel toilet connected to a stainless-steel sink, and a stainless-steel shower. I was locked in this cell for 24 hours a day, with the exception of one hour a day when I was sometimes, and I want to reiterate, sometimes, let out to pace back and forth in what looked like a small dog kennel. If I was lucky, I didn’t have to share the space with a roommate. There were several of these cells lined up in an isolated part of the prison. The people housed in the cells were the troublemakers of the institution; many of them were mentally challenged and probably shouldn’t have been within the confines of a traditional prison setting. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week they would beat on the doors and scream. There was never a quiet moment. I never got any proper rest, but instead learned to catch a few winks as it subsided to a dull roar. The steel door which provided the entrance into the cell contained a small slit in the center, which when opened up, provided the means through which they would slide food trays. As I stated previously, many of those sent to the hole were looking for trouble. You may be minding your own business and the next thing you know, your psychopath roommate decides that it is a good idea to throw a cup full of urine and feces in the guards’ faces when they open up the slot to slide in the food tray. What did the guards do? They did what most of us would do if that were done to us. They would “suit up” and come in with their batons. You didn’t have any control over who your cell mate was when you were in the hole, and you better hope it wasn’t your cell mate who decided to pull this because
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Troy’s Times – August 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…Public Image of an Inmate Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: Public Image of an Inmate “A man is not finished when he is defeated; he’s finished when he quits.” Richard Milhous Nixon For those of you who have been following these string of articles you know I was now cruising along, things were good. I was making my mom and dad proud. I was making my brother and sister proud. I was making my son proud. And I was making my scholarship committee VERY happy. I was two classes away from completing my second degree and already making plans to start on my Masters when a new warden came to FCI Florence. He immediately took a dislike to me. He didn’t like the fact that I was allowed extra computer time, he didn’t like the fact that I was allowed extra library time, and he in particular did not like the fact that I was allowed to receive videotapes via the mail so that I could take my courses by correspondence. He told me that it was all coming to an end immediately. I understood that the warden was new and had no way of knowing how hard I had worked to accomplish the things that I had, so I turned to the association that was funding my schooling to plead my case for me. I figured that they had better ground to stand on, not being convicted felons themselves, and they happened to be very well connected in the political arena. Over the next several weeks over two-dozen senators and congressmen called and wrote the new warden demanding to know why I was not being allowed to complete my second degree. Needless to say he didn’t appreciate those calls. In retrospect, I’m sure that he felt like his authority was being challenged in his own prison by a convicted felon. He was not used to answering to anyone and now he had his back up against the wall. So he trumped up charges on me, put me under investigation and threw me in the hole as a risk to the
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Troy’s Times – July 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…Passing Through Open Gates Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: Passing Through Open Gates   The moment of my release, I was filled with overwhelming happiness. I had learned valuable lessons and I had succeeded. I was drug free and educated, I had my family back, and I had my whole life ahead of me. But, I soon found out that freedom itself was a challenge. The first night of my release, my sister picked me up at the gates a free man for the first time in many, many years. It was an extremely strange feeling to come and go as I wanted. There were trees around me, a dog ran by, I heard a kid laugh, and I had an ice cream cone. To celebrate, my sister took me to downtown Denver for dinner and introduced me to sushi. I had never heard of such a thing and the thought seemed repugnant, but compared to what I had been fed for the last several years I knew there was no way it could kill me. She dropped me off in the middle of downtown Denver as she went to park the car. There I stood, lights flashing, cars passing, crowds of people walking by me. The stimulation was overwhelming. I was frozen. It was like I was frozen in time, like I wasn’t even there. As my sister approached she said I had the strangest look on my face, a look of fascination and fear. The comings and goings of the free world were something I hadn’t witnessed for years. I knew guys who returned to prison of their own free will after purposely violating their parole because they could not take the real world. They were institutionalized. Having been told what to do and when to do it for so many years, they couldn’t make decisions for themselves. We heard stories of trips to the grocery store that would leave a grown man completely overwhelmed by the choices in, for example, cereal only to realize that he had been standing in the aisle for an hour without making a
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Troy’s Times – June 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…Never Easy Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: NEVER EASY For the subscribers of Troy’s Times you know that my son had helped me take my first step and I had found new courage to face my fears and begin building momentum, but then something happened that almost stopped me dead in my tracks, literally. Since I happened to be arrested in Denver, Colorado, I was put on trial 90 miles from the brand new Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colorado. The same complex that at one time held Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Because this new facility was opening up and because they needed bodies, this is where I was sent. And, because I was sent to FCI Florence, I was lucky enough to be situated thirty miles away from home – Colorado Springs. I was just thirty miles from my family, thirty miles from my friends, and thirty miles from the most important people in my life. Despite all of my problems, my parents had always been supportive of me in the ways that they could. They had intervened and paid for rehabilitation stays several times, forgiven me for stealing from them on countless occasions, and continued to love me even as I wore away at any faith they could have that I would ever do right. But, most importantly, they made the thirty-mile drive and continued to support me while I was going through the roughest years of my life in prison. This close proximity allowed me frequent visits, almost every weekend. This wasn’t the norm. Ninety percent of the inmates that I was incarcerated with were from different parts of the country – California, New York, Chicago, Texas, spread throughout the United States. My family’s proximity was a blessing to me, but it almost turned into a curse. Within the Federal prison system, gangs run the institutions. As the gangs go, so goes the prison. The Aryan Brotherhood, the Mexican Mafia, the Bloods, the Crips – they dictate what happens behind the walls of many Federal prisons. When some of these gang members discovered the frequency of my
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Troy’s Times – May 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article… Passing Through Open Gates Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: PASSING THROUGH OPEN GATES   The moment of my release, I was filled with overwhelming happiness. I had learned valuable lessons and I had succeeded. I was drug free and educated, I had my family back, and I had my whole life ahead of me. But, I soon found out that freedom itself was a challenge. The first night of my release, my sister picked me up at the gates a free man for the first time in many, many years. It was an extremely strange feeling to come and go as I wanted. There were trees around me, a dog ran by, I heard a kid laugh, and I had an ice cream cone. To celebrate, my sister took me to downtown Denver for dinner and introduced me to sushi. I had never heard of such a thing and the thought seemed repugnant, but compared to what I had been fed for the last several years I knew there was no way it could kill me. She dropped me off in the middle of downtown Denver as she went to park the car. There I stood, lights flashing, cars passing, crowds of people walking by me. The stimulation was overwhelming. I was frozen. It was like I was frozen in time, like I wasn’t even there. As my sister approached she said I had the strangest look on my face, a look of fascination and fear. The comings and goings of the free world was something I hadn’t witnessed for years. I knew guys who returned to prison of their own free will after purposely violating their parole because they could not take the real world. They were institutionalized. Having been told what to do and when to do it for so many years, they couldn’t make decisions for themselves. We heard stories of trips to the grocery store that would leave a grown man completely overwhelmed by the choices in, for example, cereal only to realize that he had been standing in the aisle for an hour without making a decision. It is an amazing feeling to fear a
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Troy’s Times – April 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…Awakened within The Walls Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: AWAKENED WITHIN THE WALLS     Hope is a powerful thing. It has near euphoric qualities, but hope alone cannot get you to your goal. That is what I found out during the next few days. The days that I knew I was going to prison but had no idea what to expect. I had spent the last eight months waiting for sentencing in a federal detention facility while going through the trial process. “Federal Detention Facility” sounds a lot like prison, but there are a few integral differences. Within the walls of a federal prison, drugs are more easily obtained than they are on the streets. Heroin overdose is a regular occurrence, bloodshed over drug deals gone bad take place routinely, and stemming the drug flow into the institution is a constant battle for the staff. I wasn’t ready to face that availability on my own. That eight-month period within the detention facility gave me a chance to clear my head, to think rationally, and to make a conscious decision to turn my life around without the persistent stream of drugs that the prison system would have to offer. That was the best and only leg up that the system gave me. Without the drugs, I gained clarity. With that clarity, came some of the scariest moments of my life. I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at my permanent facility. Faced with a 13-year prison sentence, I’m sure you can imagine the apprehension and fear that I felt. This was pure, unadulterated reality, no drug haze to stifle the fear. My brain cells were operating to full capacity and, for the first time in years, I knew true fear. My son had given my life value again. In the short period of time I had within the relative safety of the detention facility I went from being a suicidal drug addict to a man with too much to lose and I was facing the legends of prison. I, like everyone else, had heard stories of the terrors
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Troy’s Times – March 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…Financial Aid for the Non-Traditional Student My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: SECURING FINANCIAL AID FOR THE NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT     Having spent seven and one half years within the confines of a Federal Prison I was determined that my time behind bars would not be wasted time. Education would be my saving grace. Unfortunately, my aspirations coincided with Federal Pell Grants be eliminated for the incarcerated. Undeterred, I set out to secure funding on my own through scholarships, grants and foundation assistance. After six months of filling out applications, writing essays, begging, pleading and selling, I landed his first scholarship for one class. That was a beginning, and when I walked out the doors of prison I carried with me two degrees, both obtained with a 4.0 GPA and designation on both the Dean’s and President’s list. I now want to share with you some highlights in securing financial aid for the Non-traditional student Your first attempts should be through the School or University you have chosen to attend via correspondence. Most institutions will offer some type of scholarship program/package through an alumni association, a foundation or a sponsorship group. Some people may choose to research what is available in the form of financial aid at several different schools, making that the determinant in what school they will attend. This is first and foremost the quickest way to land a scholarship. · Apply for federal and state aid. Although the incarcerated do not qualify for either, many scholarships which you will apply for in the future require that you first exhaust these two possibilities. · Contact the Department of Commerce where you reside, as well as where the school is located. Get from them a listing of all Civic and Service clubs in their area (Kiwanis, Rotary Club, Lions, Elks, etc.) and contact these clubs individually. They often times sponsor scholarships, and more importantly they often earmark their scholarship money towards “hard luck” cases such as those incarcerated. · Associations within your area. These can be brought up easily on any search engine, and the key here is to contact the Public Affairs Division and inquire as to
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Troy’s Times – February 1st, 2006

Hi Friend! Welcome to Troy’s free monthly electronic newsletter, developed for people interested in overcoming adversity, adapting to change and pushing oneself to realize their full potential. (Some characters in this newsletter have been altered to keep it from being filtered out as spam) IN THIS ISSUE Feature Article…From Cub Scout to Con Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products Download the Pref^ce Chapter of my Book! See Troy Speak for FREE! Sign up for my affiliate progr^m and make money now! Click here to sign up for this e-zine! Earn a large commission for recommending me as a speaker! Subscriber opinions and impressions of this electronic newsletter as well as reader profiles FREE STUFF! “It is not important How we come to the events in our lives, but how we Deal with those events”- Troy Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family and associates! This week’s article: From Cub Scout to Con We all made choices to get where we are today. If we stand at the gate of change and look back, some of us can pinpoint an exact moment when things started to go wrong. For others, that moment may be blurred, and all we know is that we have spun out of control since. For me it was a little of both. How did I come to the point of robbing banks? How did I come to a time in my life where I was willing to point a gun in someone’s face and demand his or her money? I can assure you that I did not aspire to become a bank robber growing up. I did not walk into kindergarten career day and say, “When I grow up I want to spend a large chunk of my life in prison and cause my family a great deal of pain.” That was, however, the path that I chose. Believe it or not, I was once an honor role student. I played baseball and football so well that even when I was very young my coaches and parents thought I might go pro one day. I was surrounded by my teammates and friends and coaches encouraging me to do as well as I could. That was my ambition. I wanted to be a professional ball player. Then, when I was 14 years old, we moved to an entirely different city in an entirely different state and everything changed. If you’ve ever moved, you may already be familiar with some of the dynamics of making new friends. For the most part, there is an initiation process. To get in with the cool kids, you have to show them that you’re cool. To get in with the jocks, you have to be a good athlete. But, to get in with the “bad kids,” all you have to do is be bad. Had I been able to join up with a baseball or football team as soon as I
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