Iraq War Veteran Enters Congressional Contest
Cleburne Times Review
Iraq war veteran enters congressional contest
By From Staff Reports
Oct 22, 2005, 08:27
Van Taylor, a businessman and Iraq war veteran, officially kicked off his campaign for Congress last week with appearances throughout the 17th District.
Taylor stopped in Cleburne on Wednesday as he became the second hopeful to enter the race for the Republican nomination.
Taylor joins former congressional aide Tucker Anderson, who announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination the week before. The winner of the GOP primary is expected to oppose incumbent Democrat Chet Edwards. Edwards has represented Johnson County since the beginning of the year following a Republican redistricting plan that aimed to boost Republican representation in Washington. Edwards was the only incumbent of several targeted as vulnerable to win last November.
Taylor filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Aug. 23.
During Taylor's Cleburne appearance, he recalled his experience in Iraq and discussed the war on terror.
"We are fighting a war against men sworn to kill us all," Taylor said. "It is a war for our families, our country, our beliefs, even our nation's very survival. I know this enemy, and we can beat them."
Taylor appeared at the Johnson County Republican headquarters with a group of area supporters including former state Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth, defeated last year by Edwards.
"I'm a seventh-generation Texan, a family man and a businessman," Taylor said. "I understand that lower taxes on our families and small businesses give us greater control and freedom in our everyday lives. I believe I can make a difference for Texans in the 17th Congressional District, our state and our nation."
Taylor joined the Marine Corps after graduating from college and graduated from infantry and intelligence schools before earning the privilege of leading a reconnaissance platoon and serving as an intelligence officer. After four years of active duty, Taylor joined the Marine Corps reserves so he could continue serving his country while he worked to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Taylor then volunteered for duty with the Marine Corps' C Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion and was activated to fight in Iraq, where he fought with the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. As a captain, Taylor led missions behind enemy lines for the 4500 Marine Task Force Tarawa, including the leadership of the Task Force's first platoon to enter Iraq before the start of the main invasion, he said.
Taylor's platoon encountered, and defeated, several Fedayeen ambushes, participated in the operation to rescue American POW Jessica Lynch and rescued 31 wounded men-under-fire during a counter attack by several thousand Iraqi soldiers, Taylor said. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" for Valor, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Presidential Unit Citation.