Why I Do What I Do
Many people ask me “Why I do what I do”. Below is one of the big reasons why.
This is an email received a few days ago from a young man I met while having a Mai Tai at the Tahiti Nui with visiting friends and family. This was a random conversation that occurred over the space of about 15 minutes with this young man whom it is likely that I will never see again.
Sometimes I speak of being caught in a “positive feedback loop”. This is a wonderful example of that loop. Little does this young man know that his comments to me, are perhaps as motivating to me as mine were to him. gh
I meant to write you sooner but have been pretty busy since I hit the mainland…
I know you’re just a state senator, just kidding, but as a veteran and disgruntled American it was truly an honor to meet you and the company you kept. It’s not every day someone like me gets to have Mai Thais with a politician.
I joined the U.S. Army Infantry in 2004, deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and Iraq in 2008 finally was honorably discharged in 2009. Now I’m a full time student majoring in photojournalism and documentary film, graduating in April with a baby on the way, man how things change. When I decided to join the service I had every intention of becoming a career officer and possibly pursuing politics, I still have the copy of my career plan from the sixth grade saying I wanted to be a distract attorney, I watched a lot of Law & Order as a child. I digress.
Over the years my love for country and service faded. Once I got out of the Army it all but disappeared. My fiancé can attest to my distrust and frustration with our democratic and legislative process. Even after having served in the United States Military I chose not to vote on anything this year, a decision I deeply regretted after our encounter, as brief as it was. I made this decision out of frustration, that’s the way young minds work I guess, and the feeling that I and so many other veterans have been used by the system; in turn I didn’t want to take part in the system.
What our conversation and listening to you talk taught me was pretty simple; Our system of democracy will only get worse if we don’t exercise our rights and our communities are one of the most important places to do so. As you said ‘It takes a majority’ and ‘serve the people where you were elected’ (paraphrase).
So I wanted to write you and say thank you. Thank you for listening and taking the time to talk with us, I needed it. My father has always told me never to trust a politician, now I think there might be a few out there worth trusting. Thank you to Mrs. Hooser as well, I can tell you’re the brains behind the operation.
Hope to meet again someday.
XXXXXX XXXXXX (I did not ask him for permission to print his name)
Note: I explained to him that I was a former Senator now serving on the County Council but he apparently did not catch that early part of the conversation or chose to still refer to me as Senator, which many people do.
Gary Hooser’s Blog https://garyhooser.wordpress.com/