Governor Appoints USAF Vet To State Legislature

(Lincoln, Neb.) - Today, Gov. Dave Heineman announced his appointment of retired Col. Tommy L. Garrett of Bellevue to represent District 3 in the Nebraska Legislature. Garrett, 59, is a successful small business owner in Bellevue and a 26 year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Gov. Heineman said, "I am pleased to appoint Tommy. He shares Nebraskan's values and is excited to represent the people of this district. He is a hard-working, fiscally conservative family man who has a proven record of public service and job creation. I appreciate his service to our country and willingness to serve Nebraskans."

"I believe that public service is a way of life and I will work hard representing the conservative values of the people in my community," said Garrett. "As a business owner, I know what it takes to create jobs and the importance that has on working Nebraska families every day. These are the people I will serve and be responsible to as we continue to create jobs here in Nebraska. I truly appreciate this opportunity."

Garrett is the founder and President of the Garrett Group, a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) which specializes in defense contracting, headquartered in Bellevue.

Garrett has more than 26 years of professional experience in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; operations; academic instruction; and leadership as an officer and commander in the U.S. Air Force. He served overseas in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield and in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He has held several leadership positions throughout his career, including Commander of the Joint Intelligence Center at U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base; Chief of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division at U.S. Central Command at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia; and Commander of the 607th Air Intelligence Group and Director of Intelligence at Seventh Air Force at Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea.

Garrett is a graduate of the National War College, Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer School, and the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. He earned a Master's of Science at the National War College in Washington D.C., a Master's of Science in International Relations at Troy State University in Troy, Alabama, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was a RAND Research Fellow following his service in the Gulf War.

With a long and distinguished military career, Garrett earned a number of military awards and decorations, including the: Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit twice; Bronze Star; and Meritorious Service Medal six times.

Garrett describes himself as a limited government, pro-economic development conservative who supports lowering taxes on Nebraskans and believes in personal responsibility. Garrett and his wife Julie have been married 36 years and have three children.

The appointment is effective immediately. At the news conference announcing the appointment, Secretary of State John Gale administered the State of Nebraska Oath of Office.

Legislative District 3 encompasses a portion of Sarpy County. The appointee will serve until Jan. 6, 2015, with the seat up for election to a two-year term in November 2014. The vacancy is due to State Sen. Scott Price resigning the seat which was effective Nov. 1, 2013.

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