To the editor:
I am deeply troubled by Mr. Bruce Wiley’s letter of June 12. Mr. Wiley has some strange ideas about me so I thought I would write this letter to address some of his misplaced concerns.
First, I have a lifetime of service to our country and its people. I enlisted as a private in the Army in 1989 and retired as a colonel earlier this year. My service to this nation included two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. My family – my wife, Aree, and my two children – served as well. They endured frequent moves and my long absences with the silent courage that distinguishes America’s Army families.
Mr. Wiley is correct that I am also a teacher. Most recently, I was an adjunct assistant professor of history at Benedictine University. In the fall, I will begin a position as an assistant professor in the Homeland Security program at Wichita State University. I love teaching. It is an investment in our kids and their futures.
And finally, my wife and I did not just “blow into town,” as Mr. Wiley wrote in his letter. We have been successful business owners here in Leavenworth for more than a decade. We arrived in 2006 so that I could attend the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and immediately knew that Leavenworth was where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives. We put down roots and started a business, turning Baan Thai Restaurant into the biggest Thai restaurant chain in Kansas. We are also heavily invested in revitalizing downtown Leavenworth. When my Army service demanded that I leave Kansas in 2012 to deploy to Afghanistan, followed by four more years as a geographical bachelor in Texas, Jordan, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, my wife kept both our family and our business thriving until I returned in 2017.
I would love the opportunity to meet and talk with you, Mr. Wiley – or Ms. Linda Schmidt or Mr. Allan Boyce or any of the others who have been encouraged to attack me in the pages of this paper or on Facebook. While we might not agree on issues, I think you will find that we both want what is best for Leavenworth.