Allen West Bio
Updated On: Jan 20 2012 12:33:58 PM EST
Congressman Allen West serves the constituents of Florida's 22nd district, encompassing parts of beautiful Broward and Palm Beach Counties along South Florida's coastline. Born and raised in the inner city of Atlanta, in the same neighborhood where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached, patriotism is in Congressman West's blood. His father was a Corporal in the U.S. Army and served in the European theater of operations in WW II, and his mother, the outspoken and lovable "Snooks" West, worked as a civilian on a local Military Installation. Congressman West's nephew currently serves in the Army. Before retiring as an Army Lieutenant Colonel, West served as a Field Artillery Officer in several combat zones: in Operation Desert Storm, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was battalion commander for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, and in Afghanistan, where he trained Afghan officers to take on the responsibility of securing their own country.
"My father was proud of his own service, and believed that serving your country was the greatest of all honors," West said. "Both of my parents taught me that it was not necessary to rely on a government handout to achieve my goals. They wanted me to believe in myself and told me that in America, with hard work, all things are possible."
In 2004, after serving 22 years in the Army, West retired from the Military, and brought his wife, Angela, and two daughters, Aubrey and Austen, to South Florida, to be closer to his wife's family. Congressman West taught high school for one year and then returned to Afghanistan as a civilian advisor to the Afghan army.
A proud conservative and American patriot, and with the encouragement of friends and neighbors, Congressman West decided to make a bid for Congress. With a purely grassroots movement, that ignited support across the country, West's fresh, no nonsense approach launched him from being a virtual unknown to raising the second highest amount of money for a Congressional candidate in the entire country. Almost all of the donations pouring in to Congressman West's 2010 campaign were from individual donors.
In November of 2010, Congressman West was honored to be able to continue his oath of service to his country when he was elected to be a Representative in the United States Congress.
"I have traded in my camouflage uniform for a suit," West said. "But the commitment to protect the people of the United States is still my mission."
Congressman West received his Bachelor's degree while on an ROTC scholarship at the University of Tennessee and later went on to get a Master's degree from Kansas State University, both in political science. He also holds a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College in political theory and military operations.
In his Army career, Congressman West has been honored many times, including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and a Valorous Unit Award. He received his valor award as a Captain in Desert Shield/Storm, was the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year in 1993, and was a Distinguished Honor Graduate III Corps Assault School. He proudly wears the Army Master parachutist badge, Air Assault badge, Navy/Marine Corps parachutist insignia, Italian parachutist wings, and German proficiency badge.
In his free time, Congressman West enjoys cheering on his beloved Tennessee Volunteers, is an avid distance runner, a certified SCUBA diver, motorcyclist, and attends Community Christian Church in Tamarac, Florida.
Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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