This is a short bio about me. Those of you who know me can attest that brevity is not one of my many strengths but I will try to curtail this tale as much as possible. So… where to begin?
I was born at St. Lukes hospital in Milwaukee County in 1976. My parents met in college and were both Indiana transplants who moved up here to take teaching jobs at Milwaukee Public Schools. They bought a house in South Milwaukee in 1977, at 12% interest, in order to be grandfathered out of the Residency Rule that was to take place the following year. (Who says that doesn’t affect things.)
I graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 1994. During my tenure there I did; football, choir, madrigal feasts, solo & ensemble (winning gold medals at state), playing the lead roles in plays and musicals and I even made it onto the Homecoming Court.
I won a theater scholarship to attend Carroll College and stayed for 2 years. I majored in biology with an emphasis in pre-med and minored in both theater and secondary education. I then transferred to UW – Parkside where I began writing music and I soon switched my major and decided drop the education minor when the education department got put on probation. The plan was to get my certification afterwards and become a teacher but fate decided otherwise. Which was probably a good thing because otherwise I would more than likely not be running for State Senate… on the Republican ticket anyway.
After receiving my BA in Music (& as a politician, some would say I have my BS in B.S.) I ran karaoke shows out of college and after 3 years of being a DJ, I began a career in the automotive sector. I did that for 7 years and I did everything in the automotive world except for sell cars. Preferring a more climate controlled working environment I began to transition from automotive to computers where I did IT contract work for various agencies for 5 years. I now assist my wife with our business here in South Milwaukee where we do web design/graphic design/photography/videography. We want to start a human family to compliment our baby birdies who currently rule the roost.
I am a fiscally conservative libertarian whom some will define as a “Gen-X Conservative” whose family comes from a very diverse political background. My mother’s side of the family were farmers who didn’t have indoor plumbing until around the same time The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper. They had Jersey dairy cattle & grew corn, soybeans & tobacco. They were heavily involved in Democrat politics. In fact, my grandmother was at one time the head of the Indiana women’s Democrat group. My father’s side of the family were big city Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce business professionals where my grandmother had a college degree & my grandfather had a Masters degree at the onset of World War II. This was in an era where if you had a high school diploma you were considered “educated”. They were very involved in Republican politics at the state & local level. My grandfather was even a council member at large in the town where my dad grew up. Needless to say, politics is in my blood.
I was on the Board of Directors for the South Milwaukee Farmer’s Market. I recently retired to focus on my campaign. I am currently on the Board of Directors for the Project Restore Committee which is the group responsible for the revitalization of Downtown South Milwaukee. My wife & I have a small business in downtown South Milwaukee and she is a director in the South Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce. We are very involved in our local community
I am also a big supporter of the U.S. Military, our veterans and our Law Enforcement Officers. As a former alcoholic, eleven years sober as of the day I’m writing this, I would not be alive if it weren’t for the brave men and women who protect us strangers. Though that may be a story for another time, I wrote this tribute for our men and women in uniform.
I would like to thank you for my blanket. I would like to thank the honorable troops, veterans and law enforcement officers who put it all on the line for freedom which isn’t always free and sometimes comes with a hefty price tag. There are those out there who live under a blanket of complacency who do not respect what has been given to them by the ones who made that blanket and keep it. Feel free not to support the decisions of leaders who put boots on the ground for causes you deem unjust. That is your right as an American and a human being. But never feign support for the troops who merely follow orders and without knowing who you are, stand on a wall and say “nothing is going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.”
America has made many mistakes during it’s neoteric existence, but don’t forget the countless men and women who have fought and died correcting those mistakes. You live in the glorious world that so many suffered for in order for you to have, do not disgrace their memory. Every great empire in history has fallen to an outside force, but not before being devoured from within by its very citizens who knew not what they had and took it all for granted. They skip through life blindfolded with their shoelaces untied, never stumbling, never falling, never wondering why there are no obstacles in their way. Obstacles that were cleared by those who came before them. They expected everything and gave nothing.
So support your troops, or wake up tomorrow to the world you created when those you scorn are no longer able keep your precious blanket.
As for me, I appreciate your selflessness, your courage and your sacrifice. I thank you for my blanket and I thank you for keeping it safe.