Thanks for your comments on my Blog. I guess in some ways, i am a bit more sensitive to his side of it, in that, i lost my dad this past November who died at 82 while in prison. And i have a young nephew currently in prison. Both clearly deserved to be there for the things they did and the bad choices they made. But while my dad did come to recognize his mistakes and was trying to make amends,my nephew will likely spend more time than he was sentenced to due to his bucking the system in there. So i certainly do recognize the difference when someone who has made a mistake in their life truly goes the extra mile in turning their life around as my friend has done. And i know he will be ok because he is a survivor who has learned from and continues to learn from his mistakes, and strives to better his self so as he can be of better service to others.As you will note, some were far less forgiving in their comments to the blog. and i do understand their point of view and respect it. But at the same time, when it's crunch time, & the saving of a life is at stake, (like the examples i used in my blog) You & I are praised as heropes if we save a life or if a brother FF goes down and we safely drag him out.So in the end, if we are that life that was saved from imminent death, are we really going to be concerning ourselves afterward with the fact that the rescuer was an ex felon in the past? Are we truly that shallow? I pray not! And i think not! I believe the scorecard of our lives is judged when we reach the end of it, & is based on what we did with our life as a whole during our time of living it. and is judged by one far greater than ourselves.... Regardless of anyone's personal feelings or beliefs on the afterlife/ God etc, It doesn't take being a rocket scientist to realize that life is a gift, and it is ours on;y for a limited timeline.Thus, again, proving that the scorecard at the endwill show, based on the whole of it, & not just on a mistake made at some point in it,whether or not we squandered it. Also as i stated in the blog, not all of us "have a record", but who among us has never done anything wrong?? I can only fairly speak for myself. But if i were the life this guy saved, the last thing i would ever be concerned with/about while treasuring my reprieve from an untimely death, is whether or not years ago, the guy who saved me had made a mess of his life. Especially, if after that mistake, he had turrned his life around for the good such as my friend has done and continues to do. That's just the way "I" see it though. Everyone is entitled to their own view/opinion. Life is 100% about charater. No question about it. But again, it is our whole life, and not just certain fragments of it, that truly determines our character as i see it. I can and do also understand those who commented that the public could be concerned about an ex felon being in their home during an emergency. And i realize, that the appearance, & the integrity of the fire dept as to public image is a due consideration that must be maintained. But at the end of the day, and at "the final roll call". I believe, and i would hope, that my own life (and or this brother FF life) would be viewed/judged by how the whole life was lived, rather than just on one or two incidents in it. I also believe that everyone deserves a second chance. When i served in the Marines, we had guys there who had been given a choice by some Judge for crimes they were being adjudicated for, and the choice was, "go to prison or join the military." I served and fought with some of these very men in Iraq, Afghanastan, and in other perilous settings. I saw these men fight and die with honor. I saw them serve with courage, distinction and dedication. And i never once worried about them "having my back". And on more than one occassion, I helped load their remains into a body bag to be sent home after having gave the ultimate sacrifice, to Arlington where they were burried with full military honors as heroes.And never even once did I hear a word uttered about their having been an ex felon.... But my FF friend is alive, he is also a former Marine veteran who served then with honor. He is a man who made a mistake years ago and is ashamed of it,But to me he is also an example of a life turned around completely. And to me, that speaks volumes as to his character. And my belief is, he should not be judged and forever branded soley by his one mess up in life all those years ago, but by what he has done with his life since that time. As for his being on parole, Parole is an after effect. It is not the crime nor the punishment for it. The Parole board felt he was ready to return to society or else they would not have granted his parole afterall.... Parole is simply the supervision (for accountability) of a released person for a period of time to see whether they sink or swim once released back into society. This brother FF Has obviously "CHOSE" to swim as I see it. And it should be noted, That his swim is and has been in the shark infested waters of temptation. In trhe Marines, we are taught to overcome, improvise and adapt to succeed and get our task done. This brother FF and what he has done with his life is a crystal clear picture of just that. Therefore, I salute him and say "Well Done!" "Semper Fi Marine!" And when the scorecard of his life is tallied, I'm betting he will be declared a winner, Not a loser.