I often reflect on why I choose to serve our Nation in the capacity that I do…and I’ve found over the years that the answer has evolved. At first, I must admit, when I was 17 years old, barely out of high school, and I took my first oath of office, I truly had no idea what it meant to serve – to solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, an allegiance to the same, and to carry out my duties, well and faithfully, so help me God. Honestly, I was just happy to have a job that would help me pay for college.
Slowly though over time, I began to understand and appreciate the oath of office and my role in serving our Nation. I’ve been afforded many meaningful opportunities and yet the opportunities that have meant the most to me though have been while serving alongside some of the finest military and civilians our nation has to offer, and that includes each and every one of you. It is my honor to serve with you with an unwavering desire to do the right thing for our Nation, our agencies and each other. Often we serve in the face of some of the most daunting challenges--times when we aren’t really sure if we can raise our head up off the pillow one more day because the issues are many and complex…and yet we always do.
I will have 40 years of Federal service on July 14 of this year—an incredible journey—and I thank you for every moment, of every day that our paths have crossed.