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1: Time to talk Jan 6

Allow me a moment of introduction if you please. I am an irrelevant side character, one whom is typically portrayed as a cliché-laden stereotype. You know, “one of THOSE.” However, with the benefit of time behind me, I’m hopeful that a contribution towards our national discourse of understanding may be welcome.

See, I was in a hallway of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. I’ll get to all that, don’t worry. But first I find it necessary to make a heartfelt request to you, the reader. My purpose here is not to persuade you to “a side”. I’m way past that. I’m hopeful that my words will provide some meaningful context to you, from one of the hundreds of people that day that never in their lives thought they would be imprisoned for their actions. So I ask that, if you do not have a willingness to pause the auto-reaction trigger, and are looking to ridicule and troll, please leave now. You are not contributing to anything.

The second request is that you respect that I am speaking for myself. I do not represent anyone else - not the former president, not any political organization, not Proud Boys or any such group, and not the people that were anywhere around the Capitol that day. They may tell their story, if they so choose. I’m telling mine, the good and the bad.

In return for honoring these (hopefully) humble requests, I will enlighten you with what I have been through, from that day, to today. I will try to keep my deep-seeded resentment in check. Some of my words may surprise you, some may make you cringe.

I have chosen not to release one (very) long story. I don’t know about you, but my attention span doesn’t provide the luxury of sitting still and reading a long article. So, I will break things up a bit, focusing on one topic, or an event, or an important insight.

Back to the introduction - you can see my name above, obviously. I am currently 54 years old, married, with adult children. My family is very important to me, and my wife has been a source of incredible support and strength throughout my life, and especially in the past two years.

I have been a business leader in the marketing technology industry, having started my own company in 2002. Our technology is in use with many Fortune 1000 companies, and we’ve grown to as many as 42 employees over time. I have been blessed with a great partner in the business, and we’ve had so many talented employees who have contributed to that success.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Music has been a large part of my life, and I’ve been the “Billy Joel” of my peers when I was younger. I have composed an orchestrated musical depicting my interpretation of Good Friday. In addition, I have spent some past years as a worship leader at my suburban church. My faith is important to me, and I am clearly a work in progress. I have served as the president of my congregation, and have traveled to Africa in support of church growth.

There are other parts of me, including charitable giving through a modest foundation I started alongside my company, marketing awards won, industry governance councils, a stint playing in an alternative rock cover band, and playing music with an improv group. People generally describe me as smiling, thoughtful, and respectful. I’m also a reserved person, because I am generally afraid of saying the wrong thing, inadvertently offending someone, and suffer from being an introvert with mild social anxiety. I’m a private person who keeps to himself.

I’ll save the events of Jan 6 for an upcoming article. I will tell you it is still hard to write some of these words, because the entire experience was so all-encompassing, public, and painful. I was arrested inside the Capitol ON Jan 6, had to give up the company that I in fact started, lost the foundation, and had to see my house on national TV while driving home from DC. I received hate mail, as did my siblings and dear mother. There were cars outside my house for two weeks. All because of something that seemed like a misunderstanding to me. Devastation of my life.

If you’ve never been under indictment, let me tell you - it’s expensive, the Department of Justice holds (almost) all the cards, and one doesn’t feel like there’s any chance of redemption. One just wants the pain to end. The process is part of the punishment. I pled guilty to Parading around the capitol. Despite a pre-sentencing report that recommended probation, I was sentenced on November 12, 2021, to 30 days of incarceration. This is because Judge Nichols said I make too much money for a fine and probation to be a deterrent. Yup. He said that.

So, I was in Milan Federal Corrections Institution in Milan, Michigan. My 30 days ended on March 22. I’ve spent my time since then working on healing, making sense of it all, and working on getting my life back in order, whatever that means. While I am determined to not let the rest of my life to be defined by Jan 6, and am working very hard to maintain my positive outlook on life, there are days where the bitterness has its reign. I try to let it breathe for but a moment, and then put it back in the bottle. Every once in awhile the carnage that has been caused can be overwhelming.

My heart goes out to others who are being prosecuted, who are in DC jail awaiting their hearings under terrible conditions, and all who have been caught up in Jan 6. There are many good people being used as pawns. There are some who deserve prosecution for their actions, and I’m sure they will. There are others who bear responsibility who, I suspect, will never be called to justice. This is unfortunate, but all too familiar to many.

More to come. Thanks for reading.


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