Big Al — Paid To Kill
Written by Tammy Leigh Maxey   

CapAYoungBigAlt the sound of gunfire, Big Al ran to the front of the brigade.  His sergeant pointed to the hole where the enemy was hiding.  Big Al slipped into the hole and snatched up the enemy.

He pulled him out into the open, cut the man’s ears off, and carved his last name in his chest – “Aceves.”  “There’s another one,” he heard a fellow soldier call.  Al climbed back down into the hole carrying a .45 handed to him by his platoon sergeant, and found the second man hiding, facing the dirt.  He put the gun to the man’s back and commanded him to surrender in Vietnamese.  No response.  Big Al pulled the trigger.  The wounded man spun around and grabbed Al by his wrists.

Big Al pulled out of the hole, dragging the war-enemy with him.  Just as he exited from the hole, Big Al whipped out his knife and slit the man’s throat.  He then sliced the man’s ears off, shoving them into his pocket with the first man’s ears, and carved his last name in the dead enemy’s chest, marking his kill.  Big Al loved his job in the war – getting paid to kill.

Big Al came from a vicious home.  His dad abused his mom, and his grandfather beat everyone.  Once, Al got into a fight at school while his granddad watched.  When he got home, his grandfather beat him, not for fighting, but for not fighting hard enough.  On a later occasion, Big Al’s granddad beat him so bad that Al swore to himself that no one would ever hurt him like that again.

MongolsHe joined a gang called the “City Terrace.”  Big Al was kicked out of school, and the guys in the gang became his “family.”  By age 13, he was busted for burglary.  By 15, he was committing crimes of armed robbery.  At 15, Al was sentenced to YTS, a place for “violators only” at that time.  As he was stepping off the bus at the YTS penitentiary, the bus driver halted him.  “Son,” he said, “you’re going to be the youngest man ever to come into this prison.  You’re only 15!”  Big Al stared back at the bus driver and laughed, “I’m not scared.”  Then he apathetically stepped off the bus and walked into the prison.

As soon as he was released, Al was back into trouble every weekend.  Then the Vietnam War came.  Big Al enlisted for the draft right off.  They gave him a paper called a “Dream Sheet,” offering the opportunity to list where he wanted to go.  Big Al wrote “Vietnam” in all three slots.  He wanted to go fight.

In boot camp, they thought Al had advanced training because he automatically knew what to do when apprehending an enemy.  Big Al was only doing what the police had always done to him — knock ‘em down, and twist their arms behind their backs.
Big Al was called to ‘Nam, and went into the 3rd brigade as a point-man.  He didn’t have a death wish; he just wanted the excitement of the fight.

Big Al was shot three times in the midst of a war gunfight.  Doctors told him he would never walk again and even wanted to amputate his leg.  At the advice of a fellow wounded comrade, Al told them he was Buddhist, and they couldn’t take his leg because he wouldn’t get to go to Heaven if they did. In time, Al recovered, regained his ability to walk, and went right back to Vietnam.

MongolsChopperWhen he got out of the service, he went on to college and began taking bombing jobs for money.  He eventually got busted, and the grand jury indicted him.  Big Al then went into hiding.  While in hiding, he and nine other guys got together and founded a rough motorcycle club — the Mongols.  The club still exists today, with chapters spread all across the U.S. and into Italy, Mexico, and Canada.

Big Al continued on his downward spiral, committing heinous acts against others.  He even once found himself in a place where he stabbed 10 men, pulled one guy’s eye out and knocked out all his teeth.  Still, he wanted to do more.

He hired out as a gun and collector for various families.  He traveled to different states and countries to collect money, bring back drugs, or whatever they would pay him to do.  If he went on a collection that wasn’t prepared to pay, he would tell them, “You can pay now or when you get back.”  They would always ask, “Get back from where?” to which he would reply, “The hospital.”

Big Al had just taken a contract for a bombing and was hiding in a motel with his wife and kids when his wife told him that some of the kids from the school wanted to talk to them.  He just accepted it as “whatever,” and went with a friend into the bathroom to shoot-up.  When he came out, there was a man waiting who told him, “You guys don’t have to stay here anymore.  Come stay at our place, and you’ll be alright.”  The man had just one stipulation, when he came home from work he was going to read to Big Al from the Bible every day.

So every day, when the man came home from work, he would read to Big Al from the Bible, and then ask, “What do you think this means, Al?”  Eventually, curiosity drove Big Al to begin reading the Bible on his own before the man got home.  One day, his host brought home a friend.  The friend asked, “Hey Al, wouldn’t you like to fill that void in your life?  BigAlgivingfoodWouldn’t you like to stop taking chances?  What if for once in your life, when people see you, they are not afraid, or scared of what you are going to take from them?”

Big Al replied, “Yeah, man.  But that don’t happen to people like me.”

The visiting friend told him, “Let me introduce you to somebody named Jesus.”  As the man told him about the Lord and how He would forgive him, Big Al broke down and wept.  He’d reached a divine pivot point. Big Al accepted Jesus as his Savior that day.

Al moved his family into a Christian home, and began attending church.  However, soon after, he and the church pastor got into a huge argument and Big Al left.  This time, he was worse than ever before.  He returned to work as a gun-for-hire, and performed vile acts of cruelty against others.  His heart was bitter.  Eventually, he went back BigAlPreachingto prison.  The guards in prison would taunt him, telling him he was job security because he would always come back.

Big Al initially intended to seek revenge when he was released.  Instead, however, he got out and stayed clean.  He began working legal jobs, and eventually went back to church.  In time, he began working in the food ministry, and from there joined the River’s Edge Church.  Since then, Big Al has been all over, across the states and to other countries, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  His delivers a message of hope to those without hope.  He says, “If God can save a man like me, He can save anyone.  If He can love a man like I was, He can love anyone.”

Big Al went on to establish a Christian ranch home for men; drug addicts, ex-cons, men like he once was — men society doesn’t want.  He teaches them about Jesus, and shows them how they too can be delivered and forgiven, and loved.

These days, Big Al doesn’t have a single gun in his house. PivotPointEndingBug

If your church/ministry/organization would be interested in sponsoring a fundraiser, etc. to help, please contact the church through their website or call 909-887-1507.

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