Veteran, Small Business Owner, Leader

I was born in Trenton and raised in Wall Township. This district is my home. My foundation of service began with my parents.They taught me that a life of service is a life of purpose. My mother was an English teacher who, growing up, I watched invest in her students to make sure they had better futures. My father was a 40-year prosecutor and he taught me about justice and equality. In school is where I developed my love of teams and hard work. Between part time jobs like Jersey Mikes on Route 33, lifeguarding in Spring Lake and busing tables at the restaurants on the Jersey Shore, I found my team of teams in ROTC at Wall High school.

I didn’t have money for college, so the Naval Academy in Annapolis was the perfect fit and it gave me opportunity I might not have had. Then on 9/11, when my classmates and I were walking to class, the whole world changed. My friends and I deployed for over a decade.

I served for 12 years active duty in the Navy. I was second-in-command of a warship and travelled to 45 different countries. I served in countries like Afghanistan, where girls get acid thrown in their faces for simply trying to get an education. I served in countries where simple infrastructure like roads and sewer systems were virtually non-existent and because of that, so was economic opportunity.

After 12 years active duty, I came home to spend time with my wife, Angela, who had served here on the home front, and be with my family after so many missed holidays and birthdays. I started a software company with several of my best friends who served alongside me. Our company was dedicated to improving efficiency in big bureaucracies and we worked with the Pentagon and State Department to improve readiness.

Now, in light of the 2016 election, I am called to serve again, this time out of uniform. It is a time when we no longer can sit on the bench, no matter what party, and watch our institutions and values be eroded. My friends and I fought on the front lines to protect, not a flag, but what it stood for. That flag stands for the rights, freedoms and liberties for all. So I’m running for Congress to continue that service. Service to the people, service to this country and above all, service before self.