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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS T his book would never have become a reality if it had not been for my wife, Jenny, and my friends who encouraged me to tell my story. It took me thirteen years to put it on paper. Jenny has never lost faith, convinced that my story should be told to inspire and motivate others. She has spent endless hours editing and helping me with this book, and she is both my greatest blessing and my best friend. Many of the alumni of Boys Ranch have shared experiences like mine, and I must thank those who have enriched my life. Special thanks to Aaron Alejandro, who is like a brother, and to Rick Smith, who has always supported me. I will be eternally grateful to them. A special thanks to the members of both the Texas legislature and the US Congress with whom I served for many years. Many of them are lifelong friends—­ there are too many to name. I also greatly appreciate current and former members of the Congressional Prayer Breakfast, who meet every Thursday morning to pray for divine guidance to make the right decisions for our country. Many of them have also encouraged me to write this book. A special thanks to my friend Bettye Speed for the countless hours that she spent editing this book. I can’t speak of the past without thanking some of the staff and teachers at Boys Ranch who gave me that proverbial “shirttail to hang on to.” Many of my teachers never gave up on helping me overcome my learning disabilities. They taught me how to read and write. Mr. and Mrs. Peggram, my dormitory parents, never lost faith in me. There were so many at Boys Ranch who positively influenced my life, and I will never forget what they did for me. I am who I am today because of the influence of many at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. xii • Acknowledgments David, my loving and devoted son, and my granddaughter, Katy, have enriched my life tremendously. They are my pride and joy. Finally and most importantly, I want to thank my brothers, Bobby and Karl, who traveled this journey with me. The experiences we shared brought us closer than most brothers. Words cannot express how much I love them. The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch ...

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