Editor, Commonwealth:

Sometimes it’s hard to explain, understand and even speak on things when dealing with loss. How much do we really have to lose before we understand the tragedy at hand in our community?

It saddens me to see the loss of a loved one, whether child or adult, on the news. Some people may say, “Who are you to speak on this?” I can speak on something that was once a part of my life more than 20 years ago.

When death occurs, it affects us all in the community. One family loses a child, the other loses one to the prison system.

I was once that lost, misunderstood, misled child, willing to do anything for the people who I thought loved me.

During 17½ years in prison, I’ve encountered multiple young men from Greenwood. I’ve always given them the best advice possible, even using my life as an example of how easy it could be to spend a decade or century in prison. I feel I owe it to my community and the children in it to speak out. If I can change and reach one young man and change his way of life, then my purpose of saving our children can be a success.

Even from prison I correspond with young men and young women, giving them positive advice about life and life situations. Even in the worst of times and situations, we have to find time for our children. They are our future, and we need them.

The city of Greenwood and our City Council members need to come together to provide some type of program and recreation for our children. How many lives have to be affected by violence? How many children have to grow up with their fathers in prison? Together we can save our children from a lifestyle they don’t have to live.

As of now, all I have is my voice for the community. In the near future, I plan to work hands-on with the community, law enforcement and whoever is needed for the betterment of our children. Together Greenwood can become a better place for all our children to thrive and be successful.

Reginald Lamont Anderson
Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility

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