Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI.
Home Occupation: Occupy Ann Arbor/Occupy for All
What makes you part of the 99%:
I’m about to turn 28 years old and I’ve been a part of the work force for half of my life, bouncing from one crappy job to another. I went to college straight out of high school and discovered at the time that it wasn’t for me. Little did I know that it would be one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I’m now taking Community College courses, hoping to get the necessary degree to be able to get a job with any kind of living wage. A job that most likely doesn’t even exist. I’m happily married and I’m the “father” of two dogs, all of whom I can barely afford to care for, let along provide any type of future for. I haven’t had health insurance for over a year and I just recently returned to work after being unemployed for a year and a half. I’m quickly sinking further and further in to debt as I fall behind on bills, rent, and anything else that could help me scratch my way through the world. I am part of the 99% because while I feel like I’m suffering, I know there are those that have it much, MUCH worse than me and I don’t know how they do it. I’m thankful for every single thing that I have and it kills me to watch professional athletes have lockouts for more money. How many millions is enough? All I want is a future for my family. All I want is the “American Dream” I was promised all those years ago. I would give anything for that.
Why do you Occupy?:
For many years, I’ve been ignorant to what was really going on in the world. I blamed myself for my inability to succeed and only through the Occupation movement did I realize that it might not have been entirely my fault. That those opportunities didn’t really exist. I occupy for all of the people that have to suffer to try and have any kind of life. I occupy for my family. I occupy for my friends. I occupy for everyone around the world that can’t get what they deserve. I occupy for you. Whoever you are, no matter where you are, if you are reading this and you believe as I do, you are my friend and I will keep fighting until we get what we have long since deserved. Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you continue to do. Never give up.
Tell a hopeful or inspiring story:
This isn’t a story, persay, but the description of one of the most amazing human beings I know. I met her in 2004, married her in 2009, and have never let her go since. My wife Kat is my hero. Every single day she amazes me, despite facing some of the biggest trials and tribulations a person should ever have to face. For most of her life, she has suffered from unbearable migraines, along with a host of other health issues. In 2010, we found out that she was diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma. For those that aren’t Doctors, it’s essentially a non-cancerous brain tumor. It’s something that will never go away and will affect her for the rest of her life. We may never be able to get rid of the migraines and, though we remain hopeful, we may never be able to have children. This would normally be a devastating story to some, but my wife is the strongest, bravest, most incredible woman I have ever met. She doesn’t let this take the wind out of her sails. Instead, she attacks the world head on and she fights the good fight every single day. She is kind, thoughtful, considerate, and she’s my hero. She supported me while I was unemployed. She is currently the primary caregiver for our family. She introduced me to the Occupy movement. I am thankful for her every single day and will be for the rest of my life.