I was born in 1948 in Toledo, Ohio and raised in rural Hillsdale County, Michigan. I was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1967 and served from July 1968 to July 1969 as an 05B radio relay operator with the First Infantry Division, Company A, 121st Signal Battalion, at Lai Khe and Quan Loi base camps in the Republic of Vietnam, for which I earned four campaign stars and the Army Commendation Medal. After returning to the United States I earned a Bachelor of Education degree with majors in German and Social Science. Immediately thereafter, I earned my Masters degree In German from Bowling Green State University. Subsequently, I served for 18 years on federal active duty with the Ohio Army National Guard, for which I was awarded the Army Meritorious Service Medal. Upon retirement from the military, I taught high school German for 13 years at a school district in southeastern Michigan. I have been married since 1974 and am extremely proud of my two adult children.