Where do you live? I am originally from Titusville, Florida and now reside locally.
Do you have children and/or pets? My wife and I have two teenage sons.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like football, fishing and building and launching model rockets with my boys. I also enjoy traveling and spending time with family.
In what branch did you serve? I served in the U.S. Air Force, the Florida National Guard, the U.S Army and U.S. Air Force IMA.
What rank/job title did you hold? I held the rank of Technical Sergeant—Superintendent of Heavy Repair.
Where were you deployed? I was deployed to Okinawa, Japan in 1986; Diego Garcia (Kuwaiti tanker escort–Operation New Dawn in 1987; Murted, Turkey in 1988; Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait–Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990–1991; Falluja, Iraq, Qtar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait (yet again) and two undisclosed locations. I was also stationed stateside in Homestead, Florida due to Hurricane Andrew.
Why did you enlist? I enlisted right out of high school in 1986 because I wanted to serve in the military as a police officer. In 1990, I joined the Florida National Guard because I was not ready to leave the service. In 1990–1991 I was called up to active service in the U.S. Army and deployed to Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In 1997, I was in the IMA (Individual Mobile Augmentee) program which grants you military reserve status but not formal like a reserve unit. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, I called my recruiter, quit my job and reenlisted in the Air Force.
How long were you enlisted? I was enlisted in active federal service for twenty-one years and eleven months. With my reserve time added, the total was twenty-eight years and nine months.
What was the single most important thing that you learned from your time spent in the service? A lot of people would say love of country or dedication and loyalty to our flag but I have always felt that these qualities were ingrained in me and are something that cannot be taught—you either honor our country and heritage or you take a knee. The most important thing I learned from my many years in combat zones and hazardous areas is that I don't see skin color—I see Americans. I don't care what race or gender a person is—they volunteered to defend our country—so they are my sisters and brothers in this life and the next.
What is your proudest military and/or personal achievement? First, would be getting the most beautiful woman in the world to marry me (still trying to figure out how I accomplished that one). Then it would be a tie—the birth of my boys. Each one an achievement and each one special in their own way. Militarily—it would also be a tie. I was the first Civil Engineer at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, to receive the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for Community Service (honestly, my wife did most of the work baking) and I was the first Community College of the Air Force Instructor to receive both Master Instructor and College Instructor Certification Level III. Educationally—it would be joining the Edison State family. I know it sounds corny but we always wanted to live in Ohio and be part of something that touches so many lives.
If you had an infinite amount of money to use for a good cause, what would it be? First, I would buy out all tobacco companies and close them down. Second, I would give every service member a raise (military makes below poverty level) and then our Wounded Warriors would be taken care of and would never have to worry about getting help. Third, I would fund the Shriner's Hospital for Children and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital—those commercials break my heart. Lastly, every first responder in the nation would get a raise. Police officers would have cutting edge equipment and protection. Firefighters would have the latest technology in fire suppression and rescue equipment. EMT/EMS would have top of the line life-saving training and medical equipment. Additionally, every family member of a slain first responder would be honored and would want for nothing for the rest of their lives. The children of fallen first responders would be guaranteed healthcare and a college education.