Path to Service
I grew up in a small middle-class family on the west side of Indianapolis. I was raised on traditional Midwestern values: work hard, take responsibility, and treat others as you would like to be treated. My sisters and I were raised to measure our success not by dollars and cents but on how we used our talents to serve our community.
I had a traditional Hoosier upbringing. My sisters and I walked home from school every day and volunteered at our local church. As a kid I loved to play sports and enjoyed the great outdoors. I was active in Boy Scouts and attended St. Michael’s. My mom worked as a dietician and my dad owned and operated a small machine shop. My parents worked hard but always made time for their family.
After attending North Central High School, I decided that my path to service was with the United States Army. I signed up to be an Army Ranger and passed the grueling selection course to earn a spot among the nation’s most elite warriors. I served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A parachuting accident and other severe injuries led to my long and difficult medical retirement from the US Army.
Upon returning home I attended IUPUI graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies. Knowing my passion lies in serving others, I transitioned from my life in the military to a life in public service. Appreciating the work Senator Joe Donnelly had done to help bring me home, I took a position working as a Field Organizer for the Senator’s 2018 re-election campaign. In this job I knocked on thousands of doors, personally speaking to voters from all over Decatur and Wayne Townships. I listened to their concerns about the future. After the elections the new Wayne Township Trustee offered me a position helping my fellow veterans. As a Veteran’s Service Officer for Wayne Township Trustee’s Office, I now provide support and resources for veterans in our community in need.
Why I’m Running
I have decided to continue my service by running for State Senate. I have experienced the consequences government decisions have on our community. Like so many other small manufacturing businesses my father was forced to close his doors. I watched as government decisions sent thousands of good paying jobs to China and Mexico, hollowing out the middle class of Indiana.
As an Army Ranger I was prepared to fight America’s enemies up close. Instead, I was sent off to fight a war in Iraq which we ultimately discovered was based on lies. Lies presented by politicians led by their own self interests. When I returned from the wars, I was not the same. I had been physically and mentally injured and was in need of care and recovery. The military’s response was to put me on high level of opioid pain killers. I was angry. I didn’t think anyone cared. Like so many others in our district, I wasn’t sure my hard work or sacrifice mattered. I didn’t believe government gave a damn about me or my family.
After almost three years of waiting on VA bureaucratic paperwork, Senator Joe Donnelly stepped in and made sure I got home. I could finally be with my family and begin to heal. The effort his office put in to help me showed that the right person in the right position at the right time can alter the course of a life: not just negatively but for good as well.
I promise to work as hard as the Hoosiers of our district do in order to make sure government fights for them. I believe Government is best when hardworking people are elected to serve their community, instead of individuals serving their own ambitions. As your next State Senator, I pledge to Listen, Serve, and Unite to fight for our community.
Let’s build something together.
Paid for and authorized by Friends to Elect Pete Cowden