*Family: Partner, Derek Volker 6 years
*Education: Two years college in general studies (no degree), USAF Air Mobility and Logistics AFSC.
Self Employed Trucking O/O, Warehousing and Logistics, Nursing (CNA),
Manufacturing (IBM, Medtronic), Auto Mechanic, Farming & Ranching
(Large Scale Crop, Dairy, Cattle, Swine), General and Commercial Aviation
*Volunteer & Political Experience:
Various political coalitions, Obama campaign, Minnesota AIDS Project HIV prevention, District 202 - LGBT youth protection and outreach, Child Protection Services of South Dakota, Native American child foster care and protection, Humanitarian Service Missions USAF, Missionary Work in Central America (Ecumenical Project: Church Construction) Program Aid at Hennepin Co. (Minnesota) Juvenile Detention Center, Bloomington North High School Marching Band (Pulling the Band Trailer)
*Religion: Caring, Sharing, Serving Others
*Veteran Status: VFW, Honorable Discharge, Decorated
*Health Status: Excellent
Hey everyone! I’m a resident of Bloomington, Indiana and I have a small trucking company with two power units. My partner and I contract with a common truck carrier serving Indiana and all of the lower 48. Both of us work insanely hard to make ends meet, but there is a great deal to be thankful for.
My family moved to Greencastle, Indiana in 1983 from Poughkeepsie, New York. Dad visited Greencastle on a business trip and less than a year later we were packed up and moving. Unfortunately our family was affected by the first IBM location to close in history (big news back then) and we were forced to move to Minnesota in 1987. The closing was devastating for the community financially and emotionally, and in some ways I don't think any of us fully recovered. My Dad kept his career and we had a place to land in Minnesota. Something unheard of these days.
I graduated high school and immediately entered the U.S. Air Force on July 5th, 1990. Just in time to go to war with Iraq in Operation Desert Storm.
I was honorably discharged after decorated wartime service and other commendations, though I was required to leave the Air Force early due to a family hardship and returned stateside to help my folks with the family farm after they were in a severe car accident.
Military service was rewarding despite the Gulf War and long days. Enlisting gave me exactly the challenges I needed and the good memories still outweigh the bad. That's not the case for all too many veterans, and I defy anyone on the floor of Congress to explain to me why every single one of my military family members cannot be taken care of to "our" satisfaction. Sound expensive? So is war, and I for one have had enough of it.
Living a year at home and with both parents back on their feet, I ventured out west to work on a few cattle ranches, try some rodeo stuff and enjoy my youth for a bit. I had a lot of fun in those days, though I realized I had to move on to bigger and better things than waking up in the front seat of my pickup with my horse tied to the side mirror. Unfortunately, better days would have to wait for a little while longer.
After enduring a terrible and humiliating marriage victimized by domestic abuse, I realized that I was paying the price for some bad choices all because I was unable and afraid to accept various truths in my life.
In 1998 I decided that it was time to confront my homosexuality. It was not easy. To my credit, I’m a “take the bull by the horns kinda guy” and after some deep reconciling with the truth I have prospered in my life and could not be more happy and at peace with myself.
Lies I've discovered are just truths in disguise. You can double down on them and gamble your life away, or you can confront the lies and move forward. Either way you are the one that has to live with the results and I do not believe for a second that any point on the spectrum regarding sexual identity is incongruent with biology, humanity or divinity. I have discovered throughout my life that people who insist upon controlling, bemoaning or punishing sexual orientation have yet to reconcile with their own. People comfortable with themselves rarely find fault in others.
In 2005, I cut my ties in Minnesota and moved home to Indiana so I could look after my folks. Mom and Dad moved back to Bloomington, IN for retirement in 2000. We have extended family here and I could not imagine my life without Indiana. After moving around so much and with all of life’s ups and downs, Indiana is one of the few anchors I’ve had in life and it seems my life is happiest when I'm living here. I’m fiercely loyal to my Hoosier State and the great people of Indiana.
My partner of almost 6 years now could not love Indiana more. He grew up in California and was deprived of the color green, thunderstorms, lightning bugs and fireworks.
In my spare time I like to work on the trucks, (so they don’t break down on the road) improve things around the house, travel, be infinitely curious, sit out back by the fire pit and watch for satellites flying over at night, fish, motor sports, yell at my dog for doing stupid things and eventually one day, finish getting my private pilots license.
I also have the privilege of pulling the Bloomington North High School's Marching Band trailer. The Cougar Band is a fantastic example of public education preparing today's youth to thrive. I'm humbled that I can help.