This "About Me" will put my commenting in perspective - it is actually not "all about me" - my world outlook and career was the result of a lot of effort and tears on the party of my family and others - especially teachers and those I served with in the military and government. My split Patch Personality - Herndon, VA and Pearl River, NY is a result of where I come from and where I've been.
I'm one of your neighbors (and former Pearl River neighbor) and like many of you in this area I'm a retired three decade plus Defense Department civilian and Army and Naval Reserve officer . I'm a Vietnam Era Veteran but did not serve in Southeast Asia. Although "retired" I'm currently part time consulting, free-lance writing and teaching with my wife's LLC in international airline, rail and maritime issues.
Born a Connecticut Yankee in Sharon, Connecticut; Grew up in the Empire State - both Upstate (Canastota) and NY City area (Pearl River). I attended public schools in Canastota, and Pearl River NY - Pearl River is my hometown - and a Salesian Catholic High School in San Juan, Argentina. My senior year in college I studied in Russia (then the USSR).
As our education system in Virginia and in New York is often the subject of Patch articles and commentary I should note my late parents taught in the Pearl River NY Public Schools for 15 years and for a total each of 30 plus years in NY State. Teaching is sort of in my blood and I've managed to be involved in international education through much of my career including now as I'm now a substitute high school teacher teaching Spanish, French, German, Social Studies and Marketing. I graduated from Middlebury College, Vermont in History and the University of Virginia in Foreign Affairs and took enough grad courses at George Washington and Georgetown to get shaken down by them for contributions. I also graduated from the Inter-American Defense College. My wife Leeann went to Oregon State and my kids went to FCPS and to VA Tech and Randolph-Macon in Ashland. I'm interested in history, foreign languages (I'm fluent in Spanish and Italian and pretty proficient in Portuguese, German, and even a little Russian and French), railroads, aviation, and ocean shipping since childhood....and was blessed with the good fortune to work in those areas. Thus my many comments on transportation issues. I was a ramp "line boy" for an air taxi and flying school in Upstate, NY ; and as a "day job" while doing my MA thesis, I worked in three and eventually managed two travel agencies in Washington, DC and Arlington, VA.
On the local level in addition to education I am interested in transportation and railroading and mass transit as well as immigration and international commerce - aviation - and law enforcement and disaster preparedness issues as they affect the regional community as well as my roots in the New York-New Jersey area.
Married to Leeann Pierce Carolla, originally from Oregon who came to this area as a Naval Officer and also worked in DoD and 13 years with United Airlines. She is a owner of our small airline-related LLC. I have two grown daughters working professionally in the area. My daughter Katherine, I'm proud to say is an elementary school teacher and other daughter Angela works in Herndon for a great IT Training firm.
I love Herndon -- the employees of the Town of Herndon and public services in Herndon are the best - Being close to the nation's capital and even closer to Dulles Airport it has a cosmopolitan as well as small town feel, but we need to maintain its central core's small town charm. I fondly remember Pearl River and, when I go back to my roots there and in nearby New York and New Jersey I try to patronize the businesses remaining from my childhood and I still belong to the Pearl River American Legion Post. The town is still in some ways a little slice of Norman Rockwell America.
I also believe that if you are going to express opinions and debate on the Patch you need to be transparent and use your real name. This "who I am" is a disclaimer of sorts. I will not knowingly insult or be uncivil with other Patch commentators and will not engage with those who aren't civil, or use bullying or scornful verbiage. I try to explain the basis for my opinions rather than just spouting them off. The aim of commenting on the Patch is not one upmanship or winning an arguement.