That is me on May 26, 1982, the day I and nearly one thousand classmates graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. That's my mother and grandmother, who have both since passed away. They are replacing my epaulets from the Naval Academy to those of an Ensign in the Navy. My father is taking the picture. He was a career naval aviator and no doubt very proud. He too has long since passed through the veil of death.
I followed in my father's footsteps for a brief few years as a Naval Aviator until I left the service of my country for the service industry in the public sector as an airline pilot for a major airline in December 1988. I have served for over 30 years in the airline industry. I have flown in many parts of the world as both a Navy pilot and an airline pilot.
I have filled many roles throughout my life which have added immensely to my understanding of human nature and those wants, desires, and appetites we all have. In addition to piloting several aircraft types from single-engine turbo-props to multi-engine jets as a student pilot, instructor pilot, plane commander and captain; I've also been a coach, teacher, auto mechanic, PTA fundraiser organizer, cub scout leader & camp director, web designer, secretary, counselor, artist, writer, plans & scheduling director, event planner, home remodeler, videographer & editor, ecclesiastical leader & counselor, and most importantly, a family man: a grandfather, father, and husband.
I spent the first decade of my career serving my country and the majority of my life serving my family, church, employer, and community. I'm ready to serve my country once again now that my family obligations are fewer and farther between.
My wife will be the first to agree with this statement: there is not anything that I put my mind to that I have not been able to learn, complete or succeed at. With that said, I know I can win the election. The reason I know I can win is because it has already been done. The motivating drive in my life has always been the knowledge that if someone else can do it, I can too! If others can learn a skill, so can I. If others can accomplish something challenging, so can I. If that person can learn to fly airplanes, so can I. If that person can gut and rewire a vintage Mustang coupe, so can I. If that person can be a great teacher, so can I. If that person can build a musical Christmas lights display (Light-O-Rama) on his home for the Christmas season, so can I. If that person can run a successful campaign and win the presidential election, SO CAN I!
There has been only one person who became president who did not belong to a political party. His name was George Washington. I can be second with that distinction. Washington warned about political parties in his farewell address. He is a man whom I revere. His election was based on what I consider two primary factors: 1) America needed a man of great integrity to fill the newly formed office of president, Washington personified integrity. 2) The office of the president should be occupied by someone who is willing to truly serve, Washington had already proven he would serve the nation's interests above his own.
America needs a president today, more than ever, who has integrity and a willingness to serve. There have been few who have measured up to George Washington. I know they are out there.
Almost as important as becoming president is the process of running. Voters old enough to remember Ross Perot who also ran as an independent candidate in 1992 will remember he raised our awareness of the national debt. I intend to raise awareness of the tragic position we find ourselves in as a nation, part of which is also related to the national debt. One particularly tragic position we are facing is one from which we cannot escape, a position that will in all likelihood result in a depression far worse than the great recession of 2008 and the great depression of the 1930s. The impending financial collapse in the not-so-distant future will not only affect businesses small and great but every American household will be impacted. It will be crucial for our national survival to navigate through it, as painful as it will be, with the least impact as possible. Additionally, it will be imperative that we restore a virtuous government and sound monetary policy to prevent the economic collapse from happening to future generations.
Let me tell you the parable of the sick patient. There was a man in his late 50's who suffered from high blood pressure, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and sleep apnea. He saw three doctors, one for each issue. One doctor prescribed medication to lower his blood pressure. The second doctor performed a colonoscopy and after removing some benign polyps told the patient he needed more fiber in his diet and recommended adding "benefiber" supplement to his diet. The third doctor treated the man's sleep apnea with a CPAP machine (CPAP helps to keep the airway open during sleep). The man had been receiving these treatments for over a decade and he routinely spent about $10,000 annually in out-of-pocket medical expenses. The high blood pressure remained under control but gradually crept higher. Every few years he would get another colonoscopy, polyps would get removed and the prescription for more fiber was recommended. The sleep specialist tweaked the man's CPAP therapy settings but he never felt fully rested and was eventually diagnosed with narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness). Each doctor treated the various symptoms until one day the sleep doctor suggested to his patient that he look into "functional medicine". This doctor had been studying functional medicine for some time and believed that there were other factors affecting the man's health, which could be solved through proper nutrition and other daily habits. The man's research began with a book titled, "The Autoimmune Solution" by Dr. Amy Myers. Dr. Myers points out that the body will attack itself (autoimmune disorders) when it isn't supplemented with proper nutrition. If given the proper nutrition, it can restore itself, it was designed to do so. After implementing the strict dietary changes recommended in the book, the man lost 40 lbs in two months, no longer needed blood pressure medication, his IBS improved significantly and his sleep improved. He previously ate the standard American diet consisting of a regular intake of fast foods and other "not so organic" food. Even though he had exercised regularly for years, he couldn't lose the extra 40 lbs until he made the dietary changes recommended by Dr. Amy Myers.
Let us compare the parable to our current government and the situation we find ourselves in today. Our government is bloated with many prescriptions to solve the many social, political and economic problems we face. Each new issue is solved with a new prescription, adding to our out-of-pocket expenses (taxes get higher and the national debt grows bigger). Old issues, because they don't get fixed, are prescribed with changes, much like the CPAP therapy was continually tweaked, with more regulations, more regulatory agencies, higher taxes, and growing national debt. Our politicians, like the doctors, often only specialize or focus on one part of our social or economic health, without understanding the big picture. One doctor broadened her knowledge to get the bigger picture and offered a practical solution. Unfortunately, few of her patients listen and even fewer are willing to change. Like this doctor, one in three politicians (if not fewer) understands the big picture, few constituents will listen (they want more prescriptions/government programs), and even fewer are willing to make the necessary changes (less government, not more), so our politicians keep offering more prescriptions (such as healthcare for all--no pun intended) or simply tweak the medications we are currently taking, such as the 50+ changes in the 83-year existence of Social Security.
It requires an understanding of human nature and restoring correct "functional medicine" to our national government to refurbish our social, political and economic health. It requires a courageous and honest doctor willing to tell the patient what they need to do to change, not the other way around. Many social problems have been created by the government. More government is not the fix. Government solutions have been the ill-prescribed medication that has caused more problems than it has solved. Like the body is able to heal itself with proper nutrition and less man-made drugs, our society can be healed with proper nutrition and less government. Understanding the direction needed to heal our nation is the leadership I promise to provide.