Born in Memphis, I spent the first five and a half years of my life in rural West Tennessee. Then, after my father was called to active duty in the US Air Force, we moved to Long Island, NY where I spent the second half of kindergarten and the entire first grade surrounded by people who spoke with a strange accent and who could hardly understand us. (What happens to our “Military and to Military Families” is consequently of importance to me, having some first-hand experience in this regard.)
Growing up, my family moved all around every couple of years, living near Air Force Bases in this country and on one in France, where I went to high school. Back in the States, I was able to work my way through college at a state school and graduated with no student debt. (“Student Debt” is another issue of importance to me.)
Being brought up by loving people who did the best they knew how, I had a far cry from a hard life, but I’ve always worked. I had chores at home early on, and I started my own business at 12, delivering magazines, so I got a Social Security card and have been paying into that ever since; my benefits are not a “governmental entitlement”, but something I paid into and earned, just like every pay check I’ve ever received. (“Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid” are important to me.)
I had polio as a child, but since I’d had two of the three shots at the time, and then the Salk vaccine, I was never in an iron lung, never in leg braces, and have no lingering effect, although I was quite ill for several weeks and spent most of the third grade at home in my bedroom with the curtains drawn, because that was the conventional wisdom at the time. (“Universal Health Care”/ aka “Medicare for All”, is important to me, as is support of such governmental organizations as the “Center for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health”, among other agencies.)
Other than a brief stint in State Government right after college, followed by service in the Peace Corps in Korea, I spent my adult life working for various non-profit organizations, with and through volunteers. I’m married to a wonderful woman, have two amazing grown children and one adorable granddaughter. I have a great life.
So why am I running for Congress? Not because “I’m looking for a cozy part-time retirement job with great pay and benefits”, as I’ve joked, but because living in a Republic requires involvement, sacrifice and a commitment to service.
There are forces in this nation that have alternatives in mind for us, such as serfdom or worse, and if we do not involve ourselves in public affairs, they will prevail. Things can, and will, get worse, if we do not engage ourselves and encourage others to do the same.