“I was just beginning to wonder how long I would have to wait when finally a guard sauntered up and said, “Galloway, get your stuff, get your bed.” I ran to my cell to get my stuff and I grabbed the toothpaste. The toothpaste was in this clear tube and was clear like hair gel. It had a muted, watered-down mint flavor. Everything you got in jail was made specifically to be as safe as can be. One of the guys told me, “Don’t ever take anything from being locked up. It’s bad luck.” But I told myself, You ain’t coming back. You ain’t getting locked up again, so you’re taking a souvenir. I grabbed that little clear tube and I put it in my pocket and walked out of my cell. As I came out, all of the guys from my cellblock were lined up to say goodbye. The guard had this look on his face like, “What is going on?” I walked down the line shaking each man’s hands. They all told me they were glad they had met me. They told me that I made an impact on them. One guy said, “You came in here and you’ve been to war and back, you’re missing two limbs, but you still had a smile on your face the whole time. You’ve gone through so much and you are able to keep smiling. That motivates me.” I was really touched.
I kept going down the line, shaking hands and saying my farewells, and finally I got to Michael Bolton. He said, “Hey, man, I’ve asked people this before and they never follow through with it but I believe you will. Could you print out some TV guides? Because you know we just tell them the number. We don’t know what’s on at what time, what station.” I said, “Yeah, man, I’ll do that.” And I looked around to the other guys and asked, “Does anybody want any crossword puzzles or anything like that?” They all said that would be awesome.
“All right, Michael, I’ve got your address so I’m gonna send it to you. And listen, man, I’m gonna give you my email address. When you get out shoot me an email. I want to stay in touch and see how things are going.”
I turned to the guard who was still baffled by what was happening and said, “I’m ready.” He rolled his eyes and opened the door. We walked out and they handed me my clothes. I pulled off the orange jumpsuit and tossed it. I changed back into my clothes. I signed everything I had to sign, got some paperwork to take with me, and walked out a free man again.
Well, my epic freedom moment was short-lived, because I realized my cell phone was dead. I walked down the road to a gas station and asked if I could use the phone. I called Tracy and told her where I was and asked her to pick me up. When Tracy arrived I hopped in the car and the very first thing I said to her was “I gotta get home. I have to print out some TV guides and I need to write a letter to some of the guys in there.” She started laughing and when she could compose herself enough to talk said, “My sisters and I all said we guarantee Noah is going to come out of jail with new friends. He’s going to be friends with everybody.”


Noah Galloway, Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier
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