Lynn Corps welcomes its newest soldier

by Hugo Bravo

Michael Byron stood proudly at his soldier enrollment ceremony on Easter Sunday. For those watching and cheering him on, it was hard to believe that a few years ago, he was confined to a wheelchair and living off Supplemental Security Income.

“Michael said that becoming a soldier was another part of him getting his independence back,” says Captain Enmanuel Villegas, corps officer at Lynn.

Michael had suffered from substance abuse problems in the past and had been working with The Salvation Army in Saugus to provide him hope for the future. As he entered the last phase of his process, he began attending services at Lynn.

“Ever since he arrived at the Lynn Corps, he has wanted to be as active as possible,” says Captain Enmanuel. “He became an adherent at the Lynn Corps last Thanksgiving but was soon asking for more ways to be involved.”

In January, Michael began taking soldier classes; he saw this as the natural next step to being more connected with the corps and the Lord.

“He’s always happy to share his testimony,” says Lieutenant Stephanie Garces. “He talks about his past, and how he got to where he is today. Michael wants others to have what he has now.”

“He now works at the Saugus Salvation Army as their maintenance man, and he’s involved in Lynn’s Bible studies and outreach ministry. He always has ideas on ways to connect better with others,” says Captain Enmanuel. “One thing that Michael never wants to be is a stagnant Salvation Army soldier.”