This story was handed to me by one of my preparers. This is Grant Murphy's story, one of my waver/sign spinners.
Grant was headed to H&R Block to figure out what he had to do to get his taxes together to file this year. He has many obstacles he is sorting out and wasn't sure what he needed to do. H&R Block moved and on his way to their new location, he had to sit at a stop light looking at our waver, Ryan, flip a sign and our $50 Cash Now banner on our building. He realized he had a $50 coupon with him but it was from a different LTS location, but said he thought he'd come in and see if we could help him anyway.
I didn't have a preparer available to help him at the moment so I just started chatting with him. By the time he left, he was hired as a waver and excited to come back! He said he wanted to help Ryan fulfill his goal of being in the National Competition for wavers (Ryan came to us because he was seen at Curves, flipping a sign...when asked where he learned he said, "It's something I was always interested in so when Curves approached me, I looked up a YouTube video and it was a Liberty Tax Waver. I took notes, made a sign out of wood, and went to work." He's being talked about all over our small towns).
We did a television interview on Grant's first day of tryouts with Ryan. After he heard it on TV that night, he was disappointed because all they talked about is how we overcome backlash about our wavers being in frigid temperatures. So, Grant sent in his story for the television reporter, unbeknownst to me. He decided to bring it in to the preparer (Correen) who had helped him get his taxes figured out and very emotionally handed it over as it was hard for him to share.
I called Grant today to ask him if I could share his story and he said yes. Also, he shared great news, he got a job at the VA! He also wants to continue waving for us on the weekends!
"...I was a little disappointed and upset at the fact that the whole reason of why Ryan doesn't mind at all being an employee for Liberty Tax wasn't broadcasted over the air for the TV interview. Ryan said, "I'm just following the Lord and Savior and truly believe he has a shot of being a top competitor in the National Sign Flipping Contest Liberty Tax holds, which includes all 50 states and Canada. So...that's a couple of reasons why he is there and enjoys what he is currently involved in. But, its also why I believe that is why I am there. Not because I knew about the contest or I know how to flip signs, but its because I was following my fate and letting go and letting God take control.
I'm at that point in my life where I just go with what my first instinct informs me to do and hope destiny takes me to the place I wish to be. I'm a veteran from the OEF/OIF War. I deployed w/ the 842nd here in Sturgis in 2003. I served 15 months overseas w/ my father who happened to be my 1st Sergeant at the time. He still holds the record for the longest enlisted soldier w/ the SDNG w/ 42 years 5 months and 3 days. Deployment was a lot tougher than I imagined.
My life has changed drastically since our return from Iraq in 2005. Since then, I have been divorced, incarcerated, lost a lot of material things and friends along the way. I struggled w/myself, and struggled day after day just trying to get by. However, my life has even changed since then. I'm currently working w/ the Vocational Rehabilitation Program due to the fact I've been declared a disabled veteran. For a period of time that was extremely tough for me to swallow at times, it still is. My hope is to receive an online degree in sales and marketing and oddly enough Sara, from Liberty Tax, was the first employer willing to hire and train me while I attend school and try to rebuild my life in a successful manner.
I've done a lot of different things in my life and been a lot of different places and if you would've asked me if I'd ever be interested in flipping signs, I'd say I wouldn't have even second guessed about answering 'no way' to something like that!
After meeting Ryan, and understanding the reasons that brought him here, he changed my whole perception on how I perceived that job in about two seconds. Now, I look forward to him teaching me how to flip signs because its something I have never done before. It's a lot tougher than you'd think, another challenge in my life and another fear I hope to conquer. I don't like being noticeable in public and have become almost isolated due to my disability, so I believe this is for the better even though its quite intimidating when you first step out in the Statue of Liberty costume.
I'm also enlightened by the fact that Sara and the rest of the team from Liberty Tax has agreed to take on the duty of working with a Disabled Veteran who was really beginning to wonder if there was any hope of rebuilding his life or having a successful future here in Sturgis, where my children attend school. I also look forward to helping Ryan stay committed to try to win the contest.
As a Wounded Warrior the weather has nothing to do w/ the reason we are out there. It's because Liberty Tax gave me a choice and I strongly believe every sign flipper in Sturgis will always try to do their best just how important it is to display our Liberty and gratitude to all those that have served or are still serving no matter what the weather is. To me it means more than just advertising for one of the first times in my life where I was actually happy with the outcome of my return and the preparer I was involved w/ went above and beyond her duty to inform me w/ info that will help resolve my other dilemmas w/ the IRS and bankruptcy issues.
I felt as if she actually cared about her customers and enjoyed helping me out without any hesitation. She also gave me hope and inspiration to complete a hurdle I have been afraid to conquer. Its because I feel as if the employees truly care about each and every customer that comes in this door, and will do their best to make sure everyone is satisfied with their service."