Presently, we are in the midst of one of the worst viral outbreaks; the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is a ravaging disease that has left many casualties in its path of mortality. In such trying times, messages of hope, and follow up action is the way to encourage people in affected areas. Credit goes to Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, who's been preparing Minnesotans to battle the looming crisis. According to Kare11, the governor delivered a State of the State address, where he gave words of encouragement as he outlined his plans for this unpredictable time. He pledges to increase hospital capacity to deal with the disease as well as improve testing measures to identify the infected and curb its spreading. These are the right measures to control the viral attack. This article looks at ten things you probably did not know about this state's servant to help you know more about him.
1. Early Life And Growing Up
Timothy James Walz was born on April 6th, 1964, in West Point, Nebraska. His parents are Darlene R. and James F. Walz, who were a public school administrator and community activist. He grew up with a sibling, Craig, who was killed by a falling tree during a storm in 2016. He spent most of his childhood in Chadron, a rural community in northwestern Nebraska.
Walz attended Butte High School, a school located on the southeast side of Butte, Nebraska. He graduated from the school in a class of 25 students. He then proceeded to Chadron State College to pursue a degree in social science education and graduated in 1989. He followed up with his postgraduate studies in educational leadership from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and graduated in 2001.
3. Teaching Career
His profile on Minnesota State’s website describes him as having a career defined by public service. After completing his undergraduate studies, he served as a teacher at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Later on, he took a teaching position at WorldTeach in China. He also had a brief stint at Mankato West High School as a geography teacher and a football coach.
4. Military Career
During his campaigns for Minnesota’s gubernatorial seat, the democrat always paid credence to his military career. He had an impressive stint in the army after enlisting in the Army National Guard in 1981 when he was only 17. He served for 24 years until his retirement in 2005 . During his time in the army, he received a lot of awards and commendations. Among them include Nebraska's citizen-soldier of the year in 1989. The highest rank he attained was that of Command Sergeant Major, after a deployment to Italy with his Guard unit. He also received the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal.
5. Military Fabrication Accusations
When he was on the campaign trail for Minnesota's gubernatorial seat, two senior non-commissioned officers of the Minnesota National Guard questioned his military achievements. They suggested that Tim fabricated facts about his time in the army and also shrugged off his military ranks. The allegations bore no fruit, and they fell off as fast as they came.
6. Venture Into Politics
After retiring from the military, Tim decided to jump into the political battlefield. In 2006, he expressed his interest in running for Congress. He had no opponent in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party nominations in the primaries. He went on to beat Gil Gutknecht in the November 7th general elections. His opponent, Gil, claims Tim Walz took him off guard, and he never expected the outcome. Tim took office on January 3rd, 2007.
7. His Effort In Congress
As the highest-ranking enlisted retired soldier in Congress, Tim portrayed himself as a moderate. He served in various committees such as the House Agricultural Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He advocated for a bill to raise the minimum wage and also voted for stem cell research and other laws looking at the medical care sector.
8. Advocating For Veteran Rights
Tim was the right person to be part of the Veterans' Affairs Committee due to his lengthy career in the military. During his time in Congress, he pushed for increased vets' benefits. They included the setting up of centers around the nation to study brain injuries and also to come up with treatment models for the brain trauma for veterans. He also opposed a move by the then president, George Bush, to increase the number of troops in Iraq. In 2008, he supported the GI Bill, which sought to expand the education benefits of war vets. It also allowed the transfer of the benefits to family members.
9. His Marriage
Tim Walz married his wife Gwen Whipple in 1994 and spent most of their time living in Mankato, Minnesota. After almost two decades in Mankato, they moved to Saint Paul after he was elected the governor. They have two children. At one time, the couple ran an educational tours agency, where they accompanied high school students on educational trips during the summer to China.
10. Liberal Views
Tim Walz holds various liberal views that promote equality and justice. He supports abortion rights and has a 100% rating from the Planned Parenthood organization. He is also a supporter of LGBTQ rights, more so the federal anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. The governor is also a longtime supporter of cannabis use, both medical and recreation.
Tim Walz is the 41st governor of Minnesota, a position he assumed on January 7th, 2019. He previously served in Congress for 12 years. He is a liberal mind and has been a standard figure in the public service, having served both in the military and also as a teacher. His latest statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic elicited some hope for Minnesotans, especially with the high death rates recorded. Highlighted are ten things you probably did not know about this politician. You can follow him on social media platforms to know more about his views on various topics.
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Written by Allen Lee
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