As I go through this election process, I have had the opportunity to connect and reconnect with many community neighbors. The one thing we have in common is a love for our little part of Alaska that we all want to see thrive. Throughout my life, I have always been drawn to public service. This call came as a young man, which feels like a lifetime ago, when I left a small logging town and went into the military to serve our county. I believe that this time of service shaped my future and made me who I am today.
My first assignment was as electrician and mechanic at an U.S. Air Force powerplant. My next stop was Germany, where I was part of the 1st Combat Communications Squadron. During this time, I supported two wartime missions in support of the Bosnia and Kosovo Wars. You learn a lot about yourself and the world when you serve as a humanitarian protector during these types of wars. The values of Family, Friends, and Community become part of your core and allow you to see people a little bit differently, you begin to see a little bit of yourself in everyone you meet.
My military service was a driving factor in me wanting to do better. It created a desire to learn, and a passion to solve complex problems. When I finalized my military service, I decided to go to college; I eventually earned a degree in electrical engineering and found my way to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was here I learned complex problem solving. I had the opportunity to work in world-class facilities, learn for the world’s best engineers, and solve incredibly complex problems. The Corps also gave me the opportunity to continue serving around the world, including Afghanistan, helping bring hydropower to small villages and broken communities.
Eventually, I worked my way up into leadership and became responsible for the Corps Hydropower design mission for 14 hydropower facilities in five states. This time was truly an incredible learning experience that taught me how to solve problems, manage large budgets, and understand how governments operate.
As I traveled and journeyed around the country, I was incredibly lucky to find a beautiful community full of great people, unbelievable opportunity, and a unique way of life; I found Ketchikan. I knew when I first came to Southeast Alaska, this was home for me. I have built a life here, found my life partner and wife, Carolyn Henry, and continue serving any way I can. I serve as an assemblyman, utility manager, basketball official, Legion member, and volunteer. I am asking that you let me continue serving in a new way, by giving me the opportunity to serve District 1 in the State House.