His values were the wind at my back when deployed to fight terrorism overseas
By Austin Talley
AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — When I was born on September 17th, 1978, I weighed a mere 2 pounds, 3 ounces. Three months premature, doctors didn’t think I’d live through the night. If not for my dad – who fought for me when I needed it most and passed that same persistence on so I could overcome the struggles in my life – I wouldn’t be here today.
In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to write a piece about the man who has shaped the person I am today.
I survived that first night, but had to be flown from Bernal, Utah to Salt Lake City for better medical services. The doctors again said I would not survive the trip. Landing in Salt Lake City alive, my weight had dropped to 1 pound, 4 ounces. This time, my family was told I’d not live another week.
But as my father’s told me time and time again, “God had a different plan”.
I spent months in the NICU, in an incubator. Doctors fought to save my life, and my family stood by praying and believing I would survive. Although I made it through this touch and go period, the doctors were still adamant I wouldn’t survive to my teen years, and would suffer from numerous health problems until then.
My parents loved each other, but this period put a lot of stress on them. They felt the pressure of worrying about whether or not I would survive – and even if I did, what the state of my health would be.
It had a profound impact on them, and my mom wasn’t able to handle that amount of stress. My father told her he understood, but said he could not and would not give up on me. He would care for his son even if she was not able to go on doing so.
At 6 pounds 5 ounces, when the doctors said we were strong enough to go home, dad took me straight home to Texas to be around a bigger support group of family and friends. I still had numerous health issues, but was stable. They took care of me while I continued to grow.
Dad took sole custody after returning to Texas. It speaks volumes about his character that a judge would entrust a 23 year old man to independently care for his child.
My dad never lost faith that I’d survive. He prayed constantly, and knew that if he fought for me, I would fight for myself.
The judge saw how much he cared about me, and how hard he’d fight to ensure I continued to grow and get healthier. He did exactly that, pushing me into athletics and putting me to work on our family ranch. He believed it would make my heart and body stronger.
Dad always had a belief that one should serve their community and their country. And he instilled a set of values in me to always dedicate myself wholly to everything I did, and to serve others before myself. It was with his guidance and unwavering support that I overcame the health issues of my youth, and was able to enlist in the Navy after high school and go on to persevere through some of the Military’s most difficult schools. These values were the wind at my back when I deployed overseas to fight terrorism as a member of the intelligence community, and it was again because of these values that I committed to continue fighting for my community when I returned home.
When I decided to run to represent House District 45 in the Texas House of Representatives, I knew I had to do it the right way. I had to run using the values my father taught me, and I had to fight for my principles.
Dad didn’t give up on me even when the doctors said I’d never survive. Thankfully those doctors worked hard to save me, despite the odds. However, what if they had not done everything they could?
We see countless examples in society today of children defying the odds and surviving similar circumstances. They not only survive, but go on to live successful and prosperous lives. I was not a survivor of abortion, but I was in a position where I was not expected to live. What if those doctors had considered me a lost cause and left it at that? Would it be fair for those doctors to go on unpunished? Unfortunately, we now live in a world where these possibilities could become realities.
Recently, the left has pushed aggressive policies championing infanticide and are working to prevent doctors from being punished by law for not doing everything they can to save a baby who survives an abortion. Some of our elected officials truly believe we should be allowed to abort a child who would survive outside of the womb. That is not the Texan way.
I’m lucky to have been influenced by a man such as my father, and its because of him that I decided to go to bat for my community and bring true conservative leadership to the Texas Legislature.
So to my dad, thank you. Thank you for never giving up on me and teaching me to be tough and to fight for my beliefs. I owe everything to you. I am who I am today because of your leadership.
Austin Talley served in the United States Navy, and with U.S. Intelligence Agencies fighting terrorism in the Middle East. An entrepreneur and devoted advocate for veterans, Talley is a candidate for Texas House District 45.
Source: Texas Politics