My family and I have lived in the district since 2007, where we manage a small farm from which we produce local, healthy food for our community. We are invested in this community: my daughter graduated from Eastern Guilford High School and currently attends Alamance Community College, and I graduated from Alamance Community College with degrees in Biotechnology and Agricultural Biotechnology.
While a student, I received the Community Outreach and Service Award as well as an award for Excellence in Advanced Technological Education from the National Science Foundation. I was a volunteer firefighter with the McLeansville Fire Department and am a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars/Post #2972 in Gibsonville. The Triad is my home, and it’s my duty to do what I can to help support my neighbors.
I have a history of service to the people of this country from the federal to the state and community level dating back to junior high school, where I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and volunteered in multiple community events. After high school, I enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served overseas with both the Marine Corps Security Force Company – Bahrain and the 1st Battalion/5th Marines.
I was honorably discharged from the Marines in 2000 and started putting myself through college on the GI Bill; I also enlisted in the FL Army National Guard. In late 2002, my unit was deployed to Iraq to carry out ground combat operations in Anbar province where I was an infantry fire team leader. I subsequently earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Army Commendation Medal for performance under enemy fire.
Within months after returning home from deployment, my unit was called up to provide hurricane relief to the victims of what would become a very active hurricane season. Even as our own homes were damaged and our families were living without power and running water, we performed searches for missing persons, conducted welfare checks, and distributed ice, water, and other essential items to local families.
Between 2005 and 2014 I deployed to Iraq again (and later Afghanistan) as a diplomatic security officer on the detail for the US Ambassador of Iraq. I received letters of commendation from the US embassies in both countries for professionalism and performance of duty. I also earned a BS in Emergency Management from Western Carolina while working 12-hour days, 6 days a week in a combat zone. I later put my education and experience to use as the Operations Chief for the US Consulate in northern Afghanistan (2012-2014).
In 2014, while in Afghanistan, I suffered a back injury that brought me back home to North Carolina. After surgery and during my rehabilitation, I attended Alamance Community College as well as conducted outreach to underserved area high schools, including co-teaching the college level biotechnology course at Graham High School. Today, I enjoy working on the farm with my family.
I’m running for House District 59 because as a veteran, I have both the opportunity and responsibility to stand up for those whose voices are too often not heard, who have been discriminated against, ignored, or otherwise left out to dry. It’s my patriotic duty to stand up for my neighbors, and so I’m asking you for the opportunity to represent all residents of this district in Raleigh.