I'm writing to say thank you for all you've done for me and the others who benefit from your terrific newspaper. I'm also writing as a rebuttal of the piece you carried on Frances Seymour who is a very nice and caring person because I know her and I also fight the disease of addiction every day since I've left the military. It's never easy to ask for help and even harder to come to terms with being with being an addict. The Veterans Administration and Delancey Street program dealt with me also, and the court sent me to prison in 2001 and now I'm getting ready to get out of prison to where and what I do not know. I've lost both my parents and also the one lady friend who stood by me all these years. She passed without knowing how much she truly meant to me and the strength she gave me to look over to my tomorrows.
Addicts don't need to be chained, they need a structured environment and others with the same problem around them to get support. In a prison setting, most addicts become victims and are preyed upon over what little they have and for what they can be forced to do. It's sad.
If there's ever, ever a chance for a person, male or female, to enter into a program, face their disease and get the helped we need to return to and become a productive person in our society, not years of hardship, separation from families in times of need and children missing one or the other parent.
I'm not even sure how my children will act once I'm free and forced to go to the Salvation Army for a place to live. We get $200 — if we're lucky not to have to buy state-issued sweats to dress out for $46. The lady I've been corresponding with is the best angel on earth ever. She is now having to come to terms with an ex-addict coming back to freedom, hopefully to a job and able to cope with a society that doesn't believe in second chances. She is frightened and I can't blame her. It's just that I've been out of the loop, so to speak, for so long that I can't settle her fears or what-ifs.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a survivor and my courtin' skills will come back I reckon. I hope so. If not, I'll be free.
Hopefully you will print this in hopes that not only Francis and my girlfriend, but others who need and want help, will speak long and loud because chains are not the answer. Truly with all these budget cuts, the Department of Corrections is broke and making their cuts through us. So who is really being kicked? I'll see you in soon my friend, and hopefully my world hasn't changed that much and I will get that second go-round. I pray so. Again thank you for the smiles and sometimes tears. You're one of the last straight shooters and I hope that Francis got the help she was asking for because not many of us try anymore. Why? Maybe I'll end up at the Sea Shell motel in Point Arena again. They need a good handyman.
Joseph D'Avy C-62414 Ad-Seg
PO Box 689, Soledad, CA 93960
PS. Ronnie Rhea is a wuss. He would do drugs and then ask his girl to get more anyway possible.