Personal Disclosure Statement For 2004

by Colonel Dan


The Cowboy Chronicle

December 2004  


It’s that time of year again when I publish my annual disclosure statement just as I’ve done ever since I started writing for public consumption.  I believe people have a right to know about the man behind the column and a break from politics is normally welcome during the holidays.

I was born on 27 March 1948 and entered the Army in 1972.  From my earliest memory, I have always been a cowboy and a soldier at heart.  Even as a youngster, my heroes were the cowboys of the late 1800’s and those most wonderful soldiers from WWII and Korea.

There were only two lives I ever seriously dreamed of—that of a cowboy and that of a soldier.  By the grace of God, I was lucky enough to taste a little of both. 

I consider the time I spent leading soldiers as a most gracious gift from God and will always be both humbled and proud that for one short 23-year period in my life, I was counted as one of their number.

I consider the time I spent traveling the rodeo circuit with my son and seeing him named Bull Riding Rookie of the Year for 1998 in central Florida a divine gift as well.   

I am a retired cavalry officer who entered the Army as a private and was commissioned through OCS, not West Point and am currently a vice president of a major high tech corporation even though I have no engineering skills—God does have a strange sense of humor eh?

I drive a Ford F-150 4x4—I feel out of place driving a car.

I wear boots and cowboy hats everywhere—no business suits, wing tips or fedoras even at work.

I’m a devoted American and southern loyalist—a philosophical traditionalist—an anachronism—and proud of it. 

I have a strong faith in God and firmly believe that America was founded through divine inspiration and the intervention of the Almighty Himself. 

I also believe that we should have zealously followed the original concepts of our founders that I call colonial traditionalism and I’m convinced modern liberalism is the scourge of free men everywhere.

I fly the thirteen star, Betsy Ross flag at my house and always will.

I believe the Spirit of ’76 can be found in solid folks who think for themselves, admire an independent spirit and willingly defend their views and principles. My faith is strong in such Americans.

The Constitution, The Federalist Papers, Washington’s Farewell address and other writings of the founders and conservative thinkers shaped my political ideas early in life. 

I believe the role of American government should be limited to that specified by the Constitution and to ardently preserve an environment of equal opportunity, not equal outcome. That original American spirit has and will take us to great heights if government doesn’t smother it.  I agree with James Madison who said the states should be doing 95% of the governing in America and the federal government only 5%.

Like the founders, I believe we should openly trade with all countries but have entangling alliances with none.  I would therefore not only pull out of the United Nations, I would evict them from American soil without delay or question—period. 

In leaders, I prize honor and character far above experience.  When you think about it, our founders had no experience in government and they did rather well.

My style of leadership is one of empowered delegation of responsibility and authority to trusted subordinates giving them general, but clear guidance.  I’m not a micro-manager—never have been.

My favorite people will always be those who reflect the spirit of soldiers and cowboys—and they don’t have to actually be soldiers or cowboys to reflect such a spirit.  I’m an old softy when it comes to those two groups.  As always, I use the term “soldier” to describe service men and women of all branches.  Nothing brings tears to my eyes faster than reflections of the American GI or the American cowboy.  I love them all and have my entire life.  

Friends from my military past and my cowboy shooting buddies of today are extremely important in my life.  I believe that the relationship you have with your closest friends, your family and your God helps shape that person inside.

One of the most important influences in my life comes from those who went before.  History’s heroes have shaped much of the way I view life, this great country and how I measure myself.  My own ancestors fought in American conflicts since coming here in the 1600’s.  A grandfather of mine (x6) commanded a small company throughout the Revolution and spent the winter of 1777/78 at Valley Forge.  His son fought in the War of 1812 and it is his saber that hangs in my study today—a tangible reminder of their sacrifices and how much they were willing to risk for me.  I lost ancestors on both sides in the Uncivil War, as did many families, and some of my heroes served on both sides.  While admiring a few Yankees and many Rebels as soldiers, there was only one side I admired politically during that Second American Revolution. 

I like two kinds of music:  Country and Classical.  I guess you could say it’s either Merrill or Mozart for me—no rock, no jazz, no nothin’ else.  In fact, I played drums in a C&W band during the 60’s and 70’s.  

I never watch anything whatsoever on major network TV and rarely go to the movies so please don’t email me about sitcoms or shows of any kind—I won’t know what you’re talking about.  I just don’t have the time or inclination to watch.  I prefer to read and write, watch Fox News, The History Channel and bull riding.

I like cowboy guns, reloading my own ammunition and whippin’ up on them dang stealth bullets every chance I get and am the current TG and Match Director of the Hatbill Gang in Titusville FL.

I like good old American cooking—no foreign foods—thank you.

I go to bed between 9 and 10 PM and get up at 4 AM everyday of the week and have followed that routine for over 3 decades.  I do the majority of my writing between 4 AM and 7 AM.

I married the girl next door on 22 August 1970.  She followed me all around the world and was the epitome of an Army officer’s wife who now writes and illustrates children’s books.  She is undoubtedly the greatest blessing in my life.  We have 3 grown children (2 girls and 1 boy).  The oldest girl teaches high school; the second girl flies for North West airlines and the youngest is 25, now retired from the rodeo circuit, was a flight instructor in Texas before being activated for duty in Iraq where he is today.  I have one grandson 10 years old—a budding young cowboy in his own way and already an expert on dinosaurs who tells everyone who asks that he is going to be a paleontologist!

When I retire for the second time, I plan to do a lot more cowboy shooting and devote more time to writing and speaking in support of colonial traditionalism, the preservation of the Spirit of ’76 and living the cowboy way.

Well there you have it.  More than you ever wanted to know about this old southern colonel who is always trying to describe, in some tortured way, the view from his saddle.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!



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