Troy’s Times – December 2008

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 NEW PRODUCT- Training Tool for Financial Institutions DVD/CD My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured 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 not 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 from prison did not mean that my sentence was
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Troy’s Times – November 2008

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 NEW PRODUCT- Training Tool for Financial Institutions DVD/CD My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured Article: Passing Through Open Gates “Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure.” Dr. Norman Vincent Peale 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 couldn’t move. 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
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Troy’s Times – October 2008

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 NEW PRODUCT- Training Tool for Financial Institutions DVD/CD My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 “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 Month’s Featured 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 cellmate was when you were in the hole, and you better hope it wasn’t your cellmate who decided to pull this
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Troy’s Times – September 2008

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 NEW PRODUCT- Training Tool for Financial Institutions DVD/CD My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured Article: Public Image of an Inmate “A man is not finished when he is defeated; he’s finished when he quits.” Richard Milhous Nixon So I was 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 institution’s security. All it took was his signature on a couple of forms. All he had to do was make one
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Troy’s Times – July 2008

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… “Power and Responsibility in Prison” Read a letter from a recent client NEW PRODUCT- Training Tool for Financial Institutions DVD/CD My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured Article: Power and Responsibility in Prison “The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” Orison Swett Marden As I mentioned earlier, my son drove the first phase of my “awakening.” When I discovered that I had this power to influence Eric in a positive direction it gave me a renewed sense of hope, a sense of purpose, a belief that the next several years would be something other than just wasted time, a sense that some good could come out of my being imprisoned. For me it would be education. Education was going to be my saving grace. My child’s hope was telling me that I was still the person who had, at one time in life, had a straight A report card. I remembered how proud I had been to bring home those report cards and how proud my parents had been of me. I remembered a teacher taking me aside when I first started to go downhill and telling me that I was too good for that. And, I looked forward and knew that when I got out of prison, an ex-con and an ex-drug addict, I was going to need all the help that I could get to function in society again. Education would be the means by which I could turn a very negative situation into a life change for the positive. The bonus was that education was something my son and I could do together. I was excited and ready to get started right away, but I soon learned that I had challenges to face before I could even open my first book. While some correctional institutions offer work programs, limited vocational programs, and very limited educational opportunities, the bottom line remains that today’s institutions are based more on incarceration than they are on rehabilitation. Federal Pell grants are no longer available to either federal or state inmates, and what meager budgets most institutions are forced to work with are
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Troy’s Times – June 2008

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 NEW PRODUCT- Training Tool for Financial Institutions DVD/CD My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured Article: Never Easy “If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done.” Mike Murdock 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 visits I was
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Troy’s Times – June 2008

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 NEW PRODUCT- Training Tool for Financial Institutions DVD/CD My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured Article: Never Easy “If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done.” Mike Murdock 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 visits I was
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Troy’s Times – May 2008

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 Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured Article: Awakened Within the Walls “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell 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 takes 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
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Troy’s Times – April 2008

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… “Juvenile Injustice” Read a letter from a recent client My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE Join my Affiliate Program 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 Month’s Featured Article: Juvenile Injustice “The person who sees what he wants to see, regardless of what appears, will some day experience in the outer what he has so faithfully seen within.” Ernest Holmes For every change, there is one pivotal point. The point where status quo is abandoned and an entirely new direction chosen. The laws of physics state that objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This applies to life changes as well. To stop or redirect that object takes power and effort just as life changes do. Reversing a trend that you have spent a lifetime building can take a great deal of power, but sometimes great power is wrapped in very small packages. May 7, 1993. To that point in my life, it proved to be the hardest day I would ever face. That was the day I stood before a federal judge and was told that I would spend the next 13 years in federal prison. The next 157 months of my life were going to be spent as an incarcerated felon. To that date, it was the hardest day of my life…but it was nothing compared to the next. May 8, 1993. That was the day that I had to call my, then seven-year-old, son Eric and let him know that his dad was not going to be available to him for a very long time. “Incarceration” is a hard enough concept for an adult to fathom. For a seven-year-old child, a third grader, it’s impossible. Eric could not even comprehend the span of 13 years. How do you understand an amount of time that is twice your age? All he wanted to know was whether he was going to be able to come spend next summer vacation with me, as had been the case the prior three years. “No Eric, you won’t be coming to spend next summer vacation with me.” Well how about the one after that Dad?” “No Eric, not that one either.” “Well for sure the one after that, right Dad?” “No Eric, not the one after that either.” After asking a few more times, he finally asked, “When do I
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Troy’s Times – February 2008

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… “Panty Hose and a Pistol” Read a letter from a recent client My Partnership with DrugTALK…. Finally, an answer to Drug Abuse for our Young People! My Products – NEW HARDBACK BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE 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 Month’s Featured Article: Panty Hose and a Pistol Panty Hose and a Pistol “It is not important how we come to the events in our life. What is important is how we deal with those events.” Troy Evans Pantyhose and a pistol. I am sure that neither the Hanes Corporation nor Smith & Wesson ever intended for the two to be used within the same sentence, or as the title of this book’s preface. As a former bank robber, however, these were the tools of my trade. As a professional speaker, they continue to be today. When delivering a presentation on making life changes, I start by thanking the audience for their time, and letting them know that it is both my pleasure and my honor to be there with them to share my story. I then ask them to take a close look at my face. I explain that this is the face of a loving father. This is the face of a college graduate who earned both of his degrees with the highest academic honors. This is the face of a kind man, an honest man, a trustworthy man, and a man of his word. For humor, I throw in that this just may be the face of a man who could sit them down at their kitchen table and sell them a term life insurance policy. As the chuckles die down, I again ask them to take a close look at this face. I then turn my back to the audience, pull pantyhose over my head and turn back around while leveling a replica of a semiautomatic pistol in their direction. I then ask them to take a look at my face again. This is the face of a man who, on March 20, 1992, walked into the First Tier National Bank, pointed a semiautomatic pistol at the face of the teller, and demanded all of the twenties, fifties, and hundreds—my first of five armed bank robberies committed over a six-month crime spree. Again, I ask them to please take a close look at my face. In
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