Army veteran Chris Buckley used to be a national security leader for the KKK. Now the father of two spends his time building bridges of understanding across difference and hate. Buckley says he first developed racist attitudes in a rough childhood in Ohio. He went on to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq with the U.S. Army for 13 years. When he returned, he was anti-Muslim, too. In 2016, his wife, fed up and concerned for their children and safety, convinced him to talk with Arno Michaelis, a former Nazi skinhead-turned-Buddhist. Michaelis took Buckley on a compassion tour of homeless shelters and gang rehab centers, where he found himself transformed by the warmth and welcome. At one center, a conversation with an African American woman ended with Buckley sobbing in her arms, apologizing for all the pain he had inflicted. Today, reports Upworthy, citing the Washington Post, he celebrates Ramadan with one of his best friends, a Syrian Muslim refugee. "People change. You just have to give them the opportunity," he told the Post.

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