Coming from a family of six, I knew I would want a big family of my own. I was inspired by my mother, who raised us all herself, to strive and provide for all of my family’s needs. I had my first-born at 18 and have been working hard ever since. As time goes on, I find it harder and harder to provide for my family. Rent isn’t affordable, quality childcare is difficult to find and teachers aren’t getting the support they need to educate effectively. I’d like to see an Oregon where families don’t have to worry about houselessness, unemployment, lack of access to quality childcare, and have the educational support they need to raise the next generation of leaders.
Joining the United States Army and deploying to Iraq was one the best yet most difficult decisions of my life. I was honored to serve our country and humbled to experience what’s happening across the globe, but at a steep cost. The battle didn’t end when I came home from overseas. I had to learn to improvise, adapt and overcome a divorce, addiction, incarceration and houselessness. All this while struggling with the repercussions of a combat tour and the lack or services for our veterans when they return. That is why I am so passionate about making sure our troops have the support they need so they never have to experience what I went through, but I can’t do it alone. We must fight for those who have and continue to fight for us.
Spending my younger years on a farm in Bonanza, Oregon, I developed a deep regard for the outdoors. I spent my summers logging on BLM land and harvesting Alfalfa and during the winter I burned slash piles and delivered firewood. As an adult, I moved north and worked doing reforestation after fires and farming in St.Paul using the same skills that I developed in my childhood. Growing up in an environment where I continuously interacted with nature created a strong sense of responsibility for taking care of our planet the way it cares for us. On weekends I take my kids fishing and teach them to have the same regard and responsibility for the environment as I did growing up.