Although I was born a military brat in South Carolina, I grew up in the areas along Highway 78 between Forestdale and Sumiton. We moved around a lot and I’ve had the opportunity to live in Corner, West Jefferson, Forestdale, Quinton, Sumiton, Empire, and Graysville. I went to West Jefferson, T.S. Boyd, and graduated from Dora High School. I had the honor to serve in the United States Marine Corps for nine years where I deployed to Al Anbar province in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, among other experiences. After my active duty service, I continued serving my country for six years splitting my time between being a defense contractor and a federal employee, helping secure military networks and systems against foreign adversaries. I’ve been fortunate enough to move back HOME, and work in Birmingham and Hoover.
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I grew up like a lot of people in this district. Blue-collar, working hard to make ends meet. I got started early, helping family with construction jobs, picking aluminum cans off the roadside, and cutting grass to help pay the bills. I did 12-hour days at the Alabama Farmer’s Market, 7 days a week in the summers in high school, “chucking” watermelons and cantaloupe, sorting tomatoes, and helping out wherever else I could to make the change add up. I finished off relatively easy during my senior year, washing dishes out of Uncle Mon’s restaurant in Graysville.
Four days after graduation, and the day I turned 18, I was standing on the yellow-footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC. After my initial training schools, I was stationed in Beaufort, SC, where my experiences growing up served me well. I was promoted meritoriously (ahead of peers) to Corporal (E4) and Sergeant (E5), got to fly in an F-18, traveled across the country, and deployed to a combat zone. All before I turned 21.
My next duty station was Quantico, VA. The work, operating a securing Marine Corps networks and systems, was much less exciting on the surface but exposed me to things very few have the opportunity to see. After my active duty service, I continued the work of securing networks and systems for the Marine Corps and Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency as a defense contractor and federal employee.
Today, I ask for the opportunity to continue to serve you in a different way, representing you as Jefferson County Commissioner.