On September 11th, 2001 I was working as a District Manager for John Deere out on the East Coast. As you can imagine, it was a chaotic and harrowing time to be living there, and no one knew what to do but we all knew we wanted to help. I was lucky enough to have that opportunity when a woman working for the New York Port Authority somehow got my name and number and wanted to talk about what I could do. Over the course of several conversations and much work, we were able to get desperately needed equipment to where it needed to be for the recovery efforts. Four years later, she nominated me and one of our Factory Managers to receive a Maritime Medal Award from the Department of Transportation for our efforts that day. The event was held across from the World Trade Center site, a reminder right in our sights about what we had been through and how we all coped. I was very proud to represent not just my company, but the values of every American who just wants to help out in times of need.
Today, 17 years after that fateful day, I reflect on the country we were in those days after tragedy, and the country we all hope to still be. People who come together in times of crisis instead of lashing out at one another. People who see others not as “others” but as neighbors. People who just want to help make our country a better place for all. Those are the types of Iowa values that I hope to bring to the State Senate.