Allen B. West

Ones to Watch: LT Shane Osborn

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Forty years ago, over 70 percent of the House and Senate had served in uniform. That figure is under 20 percent now. Is it any wonder our enemies and allies alike are doubting our resolve? When you see what’s happening in this world, and the dangerous, and frankly, deadly results of poor strategic military decisions from our elected leaders, it’s quite obvious we need more people with military experience in Washington.

Towards that end, we’ll continue to introduce Ones to Watch – veteran and minority candidates we’re watching in their bid for elected office. We hope their experience and perspectives will bring a new voice to the national debate and a strong, principled, constitutionally conservative approach.

This week, I’d like to spotlight former US Navy Lieutenant and former State Treasurer of Nebraska, Shane Osborn. Shane is running for the United States Senate from the “Cornhusker” state — and he is a graduate of the Go Big Red (who just had a phenomenal basketball upset victory over Ohio State). I’m quite certain Shane will honor and live up to the tenacity of a “Blackshirt,” the tough first-string defensive unit players for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.

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Some of you may recall the 2001 Hainan Island incident when an American US Navy EP-3E aircraft was forced to land at a Chinese air base.That pilot was Shane Osborn.

While flying in international airspace, Shane’s aircraft collided with a Chinese fighter jet. Incredibly, Shane had the presence of mind and skill to control and land an aircraft in an inverted dive falling 8,000 feet in 30 seconds.

Realizing the gravity of the situation he immediately took command and ordered emergency procedures, including preparation for crew bailout.

However, Shane ensured intelligence equipment and sensitive documents were destroyed and managed to land the aircraft without airspeed or flaps.

The Chinese detained and interrogated Shane and his crew for days, learning nothing, and subsequently released them all. Shane was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions.

He has not stopped serving.

In 2011, Shane helped establish a financial services company that is majority veteran-owned and hires post 9/11 veterans giving them more than just a job, a career. In 2011, he also founded the Nebraska Soldiers Foundation to help military families cope with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and is an active fundraiser for the Navy Special Warfare Family Foundation which provides support to Navy Seals and their families.

At a time when our country is in a fiscal inverted dive, we need someone who can calmly get the nose up and level the wings.

Our country needs veterans in Congress who will stand up for fellow veterans and not allow our military retiree and veteran benefits to be sacrificed by a town that wastefully spends our hard earned American taxpayer resources.

Shane has shown leadership under duress — something that can’t be said of the majority of our federal legislators. How many have faced an adversary and upheld the highest standards and traditions of honor and commitment to their country? He embodies that which is great about our Republic: selfless service.

Shane Osborn is definitely someone to watch. Anchors aweigh!

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