Since I often speak about the need for openness, transparency, and honesty as being needed in Washington, D.C., I will hold myself to that standard. So today, I will clean out the closet to every potential donor, voter, and supporter to know who they support. No attack ads can be possible when a person is clean and open about past transgressions.
Without further ado, here are the things in my life that could come up by opponents if they dug hard enough to find them. I want you to know I am human. I want you to know I made mistakes. If any of these are too much for you to not support me, I understand.
- I am a recovering alcoholic. I have been sober now for two years. I attended 12 steps and still occasionally go. There was a time in my life that the bottle was one of the most important things to me.
- I am a recovering drug addict. I was a pill popper for about two years. I was injured in Morocco while on a training operation with the Marine Corps. My knee was destroyed. I was prescribed pain medication and became addicted. Because I was prescribed the medication, I was never failed on a drug test and remained using after my discharge for about two years. From 2009 to about 2012, I abused narcotic pain medication. I have been clean ever since I started receiving help in 2012.
- I did inhale. As a teenager, I used recreational marijuana. From 2010 to about 2012, in conjunction with abusing the pain medication, I used marijuana regularly. I have not used since 2012.
- In 2009, at the height of a depressive episode, combine with a job loss, death of a close friend, and a pending divorce, I attempted to commit suicide. I do continue to receive treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression to this day.
- There is an article that surfaced about me on a blog in 2013 that accused me of stolen valor. There were pictures on some of my social media accounts that showed me wearing more ribbons than what I was awarded during my time of service. I had volunteered to be in an educational film for a student at a nearby high school for a project he was doing. To appear more realistic in his short film, I wore more ribbons than what I had been originally given to show progression of service. I have only received the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Iraqi Campaign Medal. A redacted copy of my DD-214 is available upon request.
- At one point a false allegation was made against me to the Department of Child and Family Services claiming I was physically abusing my children. I was cleared of any wrong doing. The report and investigation records do exist. I have not, however, ever abused any of my six children.
- I was not a good husband to my first wife. As such, I am a divorcee. While I never cheated on her with a woman, I put other things as a priority in my life ahead of her and my family. Things like career pursuits took priority to me. I regret that I did not show her the love she deserved. We maintain a good working relationship for the benefit of our sons.
- I dropped out of college. I had been pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice in order to become a law enforcement officer at the federal level. As I mentioned earlier, I was injured to the point where becoming a member of the law enforcement community was impossible.
- When I was a kid, maybe five or six, I stole a marble from a Harmon’s Grocer in Ogden. My parents made me return it to the manager and apologize. I have not stolen anything since.
- In high school, I skipped class often. If you were to pull my attendance, you would see that I did not have a very good time showing up to class. I did maintain a B average, regardless.
- I used to lie to my parents a lot as a kid. I thought if they didn’t know the truth, I couldn’t get in trouble. However, my parents are really good at finding things out and I am a crappy liar. Got caught almost every time. At one point, I think I was 15, it got to the point that I lost the trust of my parents. It hurt a lot, and I know it hurt them a lot. I have since tried to live as honestly as possible in every aspect of my life.
That is about all I can think of in regard to my past. I made many mistakes and as I said, I am human. This is a picture of things that you might find out about me. As the character B-Rabbit did in the movie 8-Mile, I want to take the ammunition out of any gun that could ever be used against me. Now you know the bad things I have done. Nothing can catch you off guard.
I hope this moment of honesty shows you the character I have now today. I am not going to lie to you. I will not try to cover things up. I am an open book and available to you as a servant, the way public office should be.