Back Home and Looking to the Future
Paid for by The Committee to Elect Chris Manning
In March 2016 I moved back home to prepare for the next stage of my life. Ever since I was kid I have always had a fascination for history and the great men and women who helped shape this country. I remember reading George Washington's farewell address and his warning against political parties and the damage they can cause. When I registered to vote at 18 I took those warnings seriously and registered as an independent. But over the past few years as I watched what was happening in D.C. I felt more and more compelled to get actively involved and joined the Libertarian Party. I've watched as the federal government has become more and more of a surveillance state and confiscating property without due process in violation of the 4th amendment to the Constitution. I've watched as our national debt doubled under President Bush and nearly double again under President Obama. I've watched as the federal government stripped parents and local communities of control of their schools. And I watched in horror as a President declared unto himself judge, juror, and executioner of American citizens in violation of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th amendment to the Constitution. In 2018 I can no longer sit and watch from the sidelines. I'm running because I want to restore local control to your children's school. I'm running to stop the government from infringing on your civil liberties. I'm running to craft a health insurance policy that works for all Americans. And I'm running to bring fiscal responsibility to D.C. and help you keep every dollar you earn.
But I can't do this alone. I need your help in any way you can lend a hand. We need volunteers to make calls, to canvass your community, to host events, to stuff envelopes, and spread our message by talking to your neighbors and friends, and sharing our message on social media. Click on the volunteer button to find out how you can help.
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TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL LAW, WE MUST USE OUR BEST EFFORTS TO OBTAIN, MAINTAIN, AND SUBMIT THE NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, OCCUPATION, AND NAME OF EMPLOYER OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE CONTRIBUTIONS EXCEED $200 PER ELECTION CYCLE
I grew up in the small town of Kirtland where I attended and graduated from Kirtland Central High School. Both my parents and my grandparents graduated from Kirtland Central as well and most of my immediate family. While in high school I played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track. I was lucky enough to win state my junior and senior year throwing the javelin and even held the state record for a grand total of 2 years. Kirtland was a great place to grow up as a kid, I had a lot of family and since it is a small town you knew nearly everyone. It was safe enough to leave your doors unlocked at night and if you ever needed any help there was no shortage of willing friends and family. I was also active in the Boy Scouts of America and earned my Eagle Scout award. After high school I went to college. My freshmen year I attended BYU, but the cold and snow was not enjoyable so I transferred to the deserts of Arizona and went to Mesa Community College for a few years to establish residency and compete on the track team. After I completed my second year at MCC I felt the need to do something I had contemplated ever since I was five years old.
In January of 2006 I joined the Arizona National Guard and chose the only job I could ever imagine having in the military, 11B infantryman. I went to basic training at Fort Benning Georgia in the spring and summer of 2006. I barely had time to get to know my unit and attend the first few weeks at Arizona State University before our battalion received deployment orders for Afghanistan. After we received our deployment orders I withdrew from school to spend as much time with my family as I could and help my parents build their home in Kirtland. Our unit left for 3 months of training at Fort Bragg in January of 2007. While there we honed our skills as a unit, I was selected to be my squad's designated marksman, and we met the provincial reconstruction teams we would be providing security for.
In March we boarded a plane and flew to Afghanistan. My platoon spent the year in Mehtar Lam in Laghman province. Unfortunately, we did suffer some casualties. One of our Humvees was hit with an IED on June 1, 2007, SSG Charles Browning was killed, 3 other members of my platoon were wounded and an army intelligence sergeant as well. 3rd platoon also took casualties. Mykel Miller and I joined Bravo Company at nearly the same time which gave us an instant connection as the new guys. He was fresh out of high school with an infectious sense of humor and a ready smile. He was killed on September 6th, 2007 when his vehicle was hit by an IED. Several others were wounded including one soldier who had to have a partial leg amputation.
In the spring of 2008 we returned home. Upon returning home I tried out for and was selected to the battalion's scout sniper platoon where I spent the next three and a half years as a scout. When I went before the sergeant's board I ranked number one for infantry and third in the state across all military occupational skills. In February of 2012 my enlistment was up and I left the unit with experiences both good and bad, brothers for life, and a continued desire to serve my country, albeit in a different fashion.
ASU and Post Graduation
After returning from Afghanistan I enrolled back at ASU in January of 2009. ASU had been the only college I visited while in high school and at that time it had a student population of 53,000. Coming from a town of about 5,000 this was quite the change. At the time of my visit I wasn't sure I would attend college, 9/11 happened my senior year of high school and I was torn between serving my country during a time of war and following in both my grandfather's footsteps, and wanting to go to college in a big city far enough from home to feel independent. When I calculated how much it would cost to attend as an out-of-state student my dreams of spending college in a town with palm trees and 9 months of summer were temporarily doused. Thanks to community college and the GI Bill, paying for school became something I could manage. After two and a half years and a lot of studying and a little fun I donned my cap and gown and got my degree.
I graduated in December 2011, magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in secondary education with an emphasis in history. In 2012 Arizona was still reeling from the recession and the education system was no exception. The Arizona legislature cut education spending drastically which led to very limited openings for first year teachers, especially history teachers. I only know of 1 of my classmates, who was a history major, that managed to land a job teaching history in that first year. I was unable to get a job as a teacher after graduation and as my bank account dwindled to near zero I looked for any job I could get. Eventually, I was hired by Liberty Mutual in their auto claims department.
My first week on the job was the Monday after super storm Sandy hit New York and New Jersey and I was given a quick introduction into how much damage Mother Nature could cause and how much it can affect people’s lives. After 11 months on the job I got a promotion and transferred to the injury department where I handled minor auto and home injury claims. During this time my dad started his own accounting firm. He was lucky enough to get more work than he anticipated in his first year, but this presented a problem, he needed more help. So in August of 2014 I left my job with a fortune 500 company with health insurance, 401k, and paid vacation and moved back home to help my family get through the first year.
Our family's business is primarily auditing school districts and non-profit organizations. This requires spending several days at each school district and organization and ensuring the entities are in compliance with the multitude of state and federal regulations and ensuring tax payer’s money is not being wasted. After helping my family get through the first audit season I moved to San Antonio Texas and went to work at USAA in their auto claims department. I loved working for USAA. As a veteran it was great working for a company that honestly cared about their members, since the great majority are active military and veterans. In addition to helping veterans across the country, during some of their more trying times, USAA put an emphasis on hiring veterans and their family members. As great as San Antonio and USAA were I was being pulled back to New Mexico to start a new chapter in my life.