The ELECTION may be over, but I am not!
Mark holding his little girl Sheila who shared five years of chronic homelessness with Mark following the Great Recession in 2009.
Please watch video:
"A Tribute to The (My) Dog"
Table of Content
The youngest of eight boys from Kentucky, I earned a BA Degree in Political Science from Eastern Kentucky University in 1987 and earned my commission as a 2nd Lieutenant for the U.S. Army. I would later obtain a MS Degree in International Management from University Maryland University College in 1999. I pursued dual careers with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for 20 years (1989-2009) and US Army components. (1985-2011).
My last four years with the CIA were as an independent contractor. My time with the U.S. Army spanned the areas of National Guard,
Reserves and Active Duty. I received an Honorable Discharge at retirement though not fully credited all retirement years (due to work conflicts with CIA), but achieving the rank of Major in Military Intelligence. I enlisted in the Infantry in 1985 before enrolling in ROTC. I served at a variety of U.S. theater commands for the Army Reserves like SOUTHCOM, EUCOM, and Pentagon. I was mobilized during Operation Desert Storm and shortly after 9/11 attacks.
I would go on to graduate over the course of my dual careers from the Federal Law Enforcement Center, the Military Intelligence
Officer Basic Course, the Military Police Officer Advance Course, and the Combined Arms Staff Course.
I also completed specialized training related to Defense Industry Analysis, Nuclear / Biological / and Chemical Defense, Department of Defense Emergency Preparedness, Near East Operations, Field Operations, Surveillance Techniques, Counterterrorism Operations,
and Continuous Risk Management-Force Protection, Alternative Analysis, Proliferation Export Enforcement, Observer-Controller
Trainer, and Threat / Risk Assessment / Management to name a few.
My time in combat for the CIA included three months in Iraq in 2005, but the last 3 1/2 years were in Afghanistan split between serving as the Deputy Chief of CIA Base at Bagram Airbase and conducting Counterterrorism Operations along the Afghan/Pak border from
2005 to 2009, as an advisor. I also completed my Army Reserve obligations in the field too.
My career spanned various offices of the CIA to include: Security Protective Service, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Counter-terrorism Center, Near East South Asian African Analysis, Non-Proliferation Center, Office of Military Affairs and a short stint at the National Counterterrorism Center, as well.
"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on we are all damaged." Jeri Taylor
Some folks may ask what caused me to be chronically homeless for 5 years? How did I transform from homelessness back into society? What inspired me to run for U.S. House of Representatives seven years later?
After reading my biography, one could only believe that I would continue to move further up in my career. Unfortunately, life changing experiences would take a turn for the worst in 2009, because of an event that transpired four years earlier. I am not a conspiracy theorist, nor a member of QAnon.
What I am sharing is deeply personal that led to severe depression, insomnia and PTSD that took years to overcome. An 18-page official report was filed to both Inspector Generals of the CIA and Director of National Intelligence, along with other elements of the U.S. Government and is available upon request.
However, perhaps it was meant to be so I could take such life’s lessons and use for the greater good of the people. Based on these lessons, I seek to carry the torch forward in the wake of people like Shirley Chisholm who in 1972, was the first black woman to win a U.S. Congressional seat. She too sought to represent the ‘Discarded and Forgotten’ (the Dreamers) who were low income, impoverished and homeless with no voice in Congress.
In Iraq 2005, I reported a mishandled investigation involving the downloading of Child Pornography on two Top Secret computers that led me, as a Whistleblower, to take a moral stance based on my [military and family] values to disclose the truth up the chain of command to Washington. Iraq Station officials were none too happy to see they were "eating crow--tail feathers, droppings and all"--for blundering and expelling the wrong individual from country. See article "Secret CIA Files Say Staffers Committed Sex Crimes Involving Children," date 1 December 2021 by BuzzFeed News journalists Jason Leoplold and Anthony Cormier for additional examples.
Efforts to retaliate were expected and failed in 2005 but succeeded in 2009 when my path would cross again with two of the senior Agency officials of the former Iraq Station. Their key positions as the Chief of Counterterrorism Center and Chief of Station of Afghanistan would dictate my career outcome. Open-source reporting of such retaliations by senior CIA officials have been disclosed over the last several decades as the 'cultural norm.' Even former CIA Director John Brennan attempted to put a stop to such activities in 2015, in an effort to reorganize the Agency, but to no avail. See additional articles related to retaliations and hostile work environments spanning two decades at least:
"CIA losing its Best and Brightest and Not Just Because of Trump," Matt Castelli, 2 December 2020
"CIA manager 'removed from his job for abusive management' is back and in charge of drone strikes," Associated Press, 28 April 2015
"CIA suspends chief of Iran Operations over workplace issues," Ken Dilanian, 16 March 2014
"Bad management drives talent from CIA, internal report suggests," Ken Dilanian, 29 July, 2013
Nail in the Coffin
In early 2009, I decided after four years in the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, a much-needed rest and relaxation were deserved at my home in Florida. I continued to maintain constant communications with the home office in Counterterrorism Center as they intended to redeploy me back along the Afghan/Pak border to continue operations in June 2009. Upon returning to Washington, DC, I completed a three-day mission preparation at the CIA Headquarters when I suddenly learned the office was not prepared to deploy me after all. I was directed to return back home to Florida the very next day. Surprised, I did as directed, but felt in my gut something was awry.
Oddly enough, I would discover my luggage that was checked [containing a treasure trove of 4 years of personal tax information that was about to be filed] was stolen. Not once was the information exploited for identity theft in the nearly 14 years that followed. It was common knowledge that CIA operated flights out of Dulles International Airport under the care of contract companies in support of the War on Terror. The Northern Virginia Dulles Tech Corridor is considered to be the “MECCA” of the Intelligence Community for companies working in support of the Agency, Department of Defense and other elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Meanwhile, a month would pass before I confirmed my suspicions that I had been Blacklisted with no opportunity for 'Due Process.' Shortly, afterwards I would incidentally be hit by a mysterious illness. After three months of sickness and two months of recovery, I would learn from a hostile ambush over the phone by my Army Reserve Unit that I had been exposed to an illness and the full impact of stigma would be felt. I was told I was being processed for a Medical Honorable Discharge.
The shock sent me into deep depression triggering PTSD from the war. Toss in the Great Recession of 2009, and I was in a dilemma. Efforts to seek employment by companies that wanted to hire me could not as they wanted to send back to the CIA where I had been wrongfully terminated. Other companies who wanted to hire me said they could not afford me because I had too much experience fearing I would jump at the next offer. Attempts to seek menial employment was fruitless as no one was hiring.
I had finally hit rock bottom with no money, food, nor a roof over my head after 20 years of devotion to the CIA and 26 years to the U.S. Army. I was not just bankrupt financially, but bankrupt physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. My soul and heart ripped away depleting my self-worth and self-esteem. I had become--in my mind--a complete failure in life and an abandonment of self. I was to join the ranks of “the Walking Dead.”
The abuse of authority by senior CIA officials to retaliate was not warranted, nor was the Army's stigma. My efforts to reach out to the Veterans Affairs for help yielded a small zip-lock bag loaded one-by-one before me with a small tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush, a small bar of soap, and a white washcloth followed by the words: "Best of luck to ya!" The epitaph being handed to me was simply unjust:
"For Outstanding Service and Loyalty to Country
Stigmatized and Slandered
Betrayed and Dishonored
Impoverished and Homeless
Discarded and Forgotten
Blacklisted by a Grateful Nation"
I felt I was being deprived of an Honorable funeral with a bugle playing Taps, a folded American flag previously draped across my casket to be given to a loved one, and solemn words read over my grave to be bring closure to a life that served his country. Instead, I would be placed in a pauper's grave that would likely be unmarked.
So, with my constant true four-legged companion and very best friend--Sheila (my dog), we would eventually journey into chronic homelessness for the next five years. I felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted a hand up, but what was being offered was a life sentence into poverty and no way out. I never solicited for money.
I began to pull myself away in 2013 and decided to leave Florida. I migrated to Colorado to live off the land for a year and regroup. I then journeyed back to Florida in 2014, where I had known a saintly gentleman who opened his home and heart to a fellow veteran and his dog. Sheila and I would eventually meet two additional friends in time, plus two kind people that helped me step-by-step to slowly begin my transformation mentally. Assistance from a foundation and support from food banks were a big help.
I eventually found a sweet old lady who needed someone to perform routine maintenance around her large estate at a significantly reduced rate in rent. My presence gave her peace of mind that she had security on the grounds too. Though it was menial tasking, it helped to draw my mind from trauma I had faced. I would have traded places for the chance to have died on the battlefield with honor than to have died daily on the streets because of someone's genocidal efforts to destroy. Eventually, the woman would depart our world and her niece years later would decide to take me in confidence to perform similar taskings a few hours a week.
Why I seek Office
I decided to run for U.S. House of Representatives after Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Ted Deutch were ignoring my pleas for assistance in my grievance against the CIA. Congressman Deutch's staff went so far as to slam the phone in my ear when I made an inquiry and Senator Rubio's office was only humoring me that they had made a Congressional Inquiry into the matter. What both “Slap and Tickle” politicians did not know was that I had already obtained documentation from the Director of National Intelligence demonstrating that no investigation was opened by the CIA, since no Congressional Inquiry was ever made.
The life experiences I bring to the table has, in my humble opinion, developed me into a competitive candidate who can not only contribute to government reforms, accountabilities and 'sound' policy decision making, but to also serve as an advocate across many boundaries.
The people who are well off are already represented by special interest groups, lobbyists or a sizeable contribution that buys an ear in Congress. However, I know what it is like to be discarded and forgotten with no voice to represent me. I know too that I am not alone, and many are struggling to stay afloat while inflation soars. I want to be that voice for the people, both well to do and the impoverished. "It takes only 'ONE' to be a Force Multiplier." Optimistic, Neighborly and Experienced to get the job done in Congress.
I know I would be a strong advocate for the Black, Asian, Hispanic, Jewish, and LGBT-Q communities. I can also strongly advocate on behalf of the homeless, foster care children, the elderly, the impoverished, the disabled, Veterans and current military service members, in addition to advocating against animal cruelty. So, it is my intent to draw from life's experience, training, career and teaching points along the way to represent the people. My campaign is not about what happened to me, but what I can bring to bear from my life to support and represent the people with their best interests in mind in regard to improving their social, political and economic outcomes.
"A Tribute to The (My) Dog"
Inspiration for When You Hit Rock Bottom!
Paid for by the Mark Napier for Congress 2022 Committee.
All Rights Reserved.