Archive for  November 4th 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Two years ago on November 2nd the Des Moines community was forever changed, when two police officers were killed in the line of duty.

A gunman killed Des Moines Sergeant Anthony Beminio and Urbandale Officer Justin Martin. Coworkers and friends of Officer Martin are still dealing with the grief, but it’s how he lived that has them bettering themselves Saturday.

For 24 minutes, people had the chance to honor 24-year-old Officer Justin Martin by competing in a crossfit competition.

“This workout is tough,” Director of Operations for Crossfit Des Moines Tyler Lloyd said. “It is not an easy workout, and we kind of designed it to be like that.”

Completing exercises in reps of 11 and 40, they paid their respects to the hero who proudly wore badge number 1140 on his chest.

This workout is so much more than some symbolic numbers.

“It’s very difficult, which symbolizes how hard of a worker he was and continue doing what we’ve been doing, which is push through this tragic event that occurred two years ago,” Urbandale Sergeant Chad Underwood said.

Members of the Urbandale Police Department took part in the workout along with coaches from Crossfit Des Moines, where Martin was a member.

“It means a lot to us to have all these people from all around the metro and the Midwest show up and honor Justin,” Sergeant Gary Lang said, “to honor his sacrifice, and work your tail off for him and for your community.”

But this workout spread further than anyone could have imagined.

“One of our officers who worked with Justin is deployed currently overseas and him and his platoon wanted to participate in a workout with the Urbandale Police brothers and sisters and Police Officers,” Underwood said.

Through Skype, people across the world were able to participate in a hero workout that Lloyd says will have you leaving feeling different than you ever have before.

“You absolutely push a little bit harder you dig a little bit deeper knowing what was sacrificed so we can have days like this,” Lloyd said. “So we have the opportunities that we have, we can do the things we want to do.” And allows the ones directly impacted by Martin’s death to remember 1140.

“A lot of memories, a lot of hurt, a lot of healing,” Lang said. “It helps heal too.”

All the proceeds from the Justin Martin Memorial Competition goes towards the Urbandale Police Protection and Benevolence Fund. Last year they donated 4,000 dollars. This year they are confident they will break that number.

DES MOINES, Iowa — More than 20 million Americans struggle with some form of addiction, according to the U.S. Department of Health. Two men in Iowa know how difficult overcoming addiction is, so they decided to be a part of the solution.

Jessie Goodwin and Mike Madden both struggled with addiction for years and they both sought out help to overcome it.

“Mike and I come from two totally different backgrounds in life. I spent a lot of time in prison and my best friend Mike has never even been to jail for one day. And it shows us that it doesn’t matter what walk of life people come from, if there is alcoholism or drug addiction involved that’s the common problem and there’s a common solution to it as well,” Goodwin said.

They started a program called Kingdom Living, which provides a safe space for sober men to continue recovering, get a job and build friendships.

“Obviously when they are coming out of some situations either homeless, or out of prison or straight out of a treatment center, they’re not very self supporting at that point. But generally, we give them some time and some flexibility to get up and get self supporting, but we are always pushing them to be that, to be self supporting and to be active members in the community,” Madden said.

They currently have four houses where men who have gone through the application process can rent rooms.

Kevin Sharp has been a part of the program for awhile now and said everyone becomes like family.

“It’s like a big fraternity. Everyone helps each other out, calls people out on what they’re doing wrong and praises them when they are doing right,” Sharp said.

Sharp said he wouldn’t be who he is today without Kingdom Living.

“I just cared about living that street life and the highs of it and the criminal activity was just crazy. You get real tired and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror and today I can look at myself in the mirror and I am happy with who I am. I am the happiest I have ever been and it’s all because these guys gave me a chance,” Sharp said.

Goodwin said the main goal at the end of a man’s journey with Kingdom Living is to give them their deposit back and watch them grow on their own.

“There’s nothing better than when I help a guy move into his own apartment and you help them move their couch and stuff like that. Just small things that some of us take for granted. But when you move those guys out of the situations they have been in, into a new environment and I’m active in 12 step recovery so I continue to see those guys doing the same things down the road and that’s the blessing,” Goodwin said.

The founders said they are looking to buy even more houses and expand their program to have houses for women as well.