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I choose to honor that gift by dedicating my life to Him and those seeking freedom from active addiction,” he remarked.
Forge Assistant Director Todd Hamm also shared a few thoughts on the occasion. “In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a speech posing a question: what is your life’s blueprint? MLK went on to convey a message of three crucial principles of life – the principle of sense of personal significance, the principle of determination to achieve excellence, and the eternal principles of beauty, love, and justice,” he shared.
He continued, “I have personally witnessed these three principles in the actions of these Forge graduates. These men are returning citizens and have found freedom, hope, and purpose as men in long-term recovery. Observing their dedication to the recovery community, their families, and their own personal recovery has been a spiritual experience. The graduates of Forge are men of humility, distinction, and perseverance, and I am honored to have been a small piece of their journey.”
Four of the five previous Forge graduates – Andrew Lillard, Mike Erwin, Michael Podlesny, and Tim Fowler – spoke to the graduates, giving them pieces of advice. Also, the current residents at Forge each took time to share their congratulations and well wishes for the men.
At the end of the ceremony, family members of the graduates and community members each shared their own thoughts regarding the Forge and the men’s accomplishment.
Forge is an inpatient recovery center that exists to restore men to freedom, hope, and purpose. The Center’s 12-step program is designed to help men (18 years of age and older) who suffer from addiction, both chemical and behavioral. The program is a 12-24 month community- based program that is focused on returning men to their families and society as productive and contributing members of their communities. Currently, the facility houses around 30 men.