Following in my family’s tradition, I decided to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point following the 9/11 Attacks. Upon graduation, I served in the Army bomb squad. Through my experience leading soldiers in combat, I demonstrated the skills necessary to lead during times of crisis and that has prepared me to lead the county through the crisis we currently face. The protection of our freedoms has been a theme throughout my life, one that my entire family has shared. They’re too important to sit idly by hoping that someone else will protect them and that’s especially true in Harris County, where our way of life has been under attack. I’m running for Harris County Judge to restore our way of life."
The United States Constitution explicitly establishes our freedoms. The freedom to speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and many others are integral to the uniquely American freedom we enjoy; however, the Constitution and the freedoms spelled out therein are little more than words and ideas without someone to defend them.
As a retired US Army Colonel, who served 33 years defending our Constitution, I know firsthand the sacrifices our men and women make on a daily basis to ensure our homeland is secure and Americans are able to enjoy their Constitutional freedoms.
For many people outside of America, freedom isn’t established by a constitution or defended by men and women in uniform. Instead, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, the local populace has no freedom outside of what Al-Qaeda or the Taliban arbitrarily decides. The brutality of how the Taliban subjugate the Afghan people is truly horrific – that’s why you saw Afghan citizens desperately clinging to the landing gear of airplanes as they took off from the tarmac.
The Afghan people knew what it meant when America left: the little freedom they once enjoyed would be gone and they’d now be subjugated to the brutal, dictatorial rule of the Taliban. My Afghanistan interpreter, Agha, was able to get out before the Taliban assumed control – something we worked on for years after I returned to the states from my deployment there.
Agha is now living in Texas and is employed full-time with a national trucking and logistics company. He couldn’t be happier and more grateful to be living in a country where his freedom is established by the Constitution and defended by our men and women in uniform.
As Americans, we so often take for granted the blanket of freedom our Constitution and nation’s military provides. But we can always be reminded when we look to our nation’s veterans to share stories of the sacrifices they’ve endured and made to defend our freedom.
I hope the millions of Americans celebrating July 4th this weekend will reflect on and honor the sacrifices our military men and women have made so that we have something to celebrate on July 4th; and I hope they express pride to be living in the most free and prosperous country on Earth – a country which protects our endowed freedoms and liberties from those who would do it harm.
That’s what freedom means to me and millions of Americans who’ve served this country and honor its foundation, and I pray we never forget it."