Our guest speaker today, Frank C. Broomell, Jr.

 Frank is running for the Democratic Nomination in New Jersey's First Congressional District.

Frank Broomell volunteered to serve and fight overseas for the democracy that we value so highly in the United States, and he believes that it is essential for the voters of the First Congressional District to have a choice.

Frank Broomell was born and raised in South Jersey.  He spent most of his life in Sicklerville, NJ, the son of two working class parents.  They sacrificed to ensure that Frank and his brothers could receive the best education possible.  After graduating from St. Augustine Prep, Frank attended college at George Washington University.

 While there, Frank knew that he had to give back to the country that had given his family so much.  His grandfather was the son of Italian immigrants and received only an 8th grade education, never learning how to read.  But through hard work, Frank's grandfather was able to start his own business and move his family out of Philadelphia and into the suburbs.  It was the American Dream in action, and it continued during the next generation.  While neither of his parents graduated from college, they worked hard as a truck driver and school secretary to place Frank and his brothers in a position to succeed.  And so, with America in two wars and increasing the size the Marine Corps, Frank saw an opportunity to give back.

He attended Officer Candidate School in 2008 and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2009.  After initial training, Frank was selected as an Air Intelligence Officer.  He served with both 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 in San Diego, deploying with both to southwestern Afghanistan on separate deployments.  In that capacity, Frank and his Marines worked to analyze the enemy threat and help their pilots reduce their uncertainty.  Always willing to help, Frank volunteered for additional duty while with the helicopter squadron as a door gunner/aerial observer.  He also worked to maintain accountability of the gear and expensive equipment utilized in the intelligence process.

While in the Marines, Frank received several personal awards including two Strike/Flight Air Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals for his performance during deployments to Afghanistan.  He was also placed in the top 17% of officers screened during an education selection board for junior officers.  However, with the Marine Corps reducing its size both in Afghanistan and back home, Frank decided to leave active duty and head back to school.  He was promoted to captain in the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve shortly after leaving active duty.

Leaving the Marines did not mean leaving public service.  Frank is still committed to serving the country he loves.  He decided that the best way to prepare himself for service after the Marine Corps was to work on a masters degree in public policy.  For that degree he enrolled at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.  There he is learning from the best in the country about the policies that can keep America moving forward.

A special thank you to Frank for sharing his views, concerns and ambitions with us today.