Todd Wilcox Inducted Into Army ROTC Hall of Fame
U.S. Senate hopeful and former combat veteran Todd Wilcox was inducted into the Army ROTC Hall of Fame in Fort Knox, Kentucky on Friday.
Wilcox, a former CIA case officer running for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's seat, attended the University of Tampa on an Army ROTC scholarship before being commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the US Army.
Wilcox released the following statement regarding today's induction into the Army ROTC Hall of Fame:
"The American Dream isn't a one size fits all proposition. For some, it's achieved by inventing the next big thing. Others train their entire lives so that when opportunity knocks, they are prepared to seize the moment. There are those who invest every cent of their savings, those who sacrifice every moment of their time, and those who give every ounce of blood, sweat and tears to achieve that which remains elusive to the vast majority of the world.
"You see, the possibility for greatness is our birthright because we are blessed to live in the greatest nation on earth. But with that guarantee, comes tremendous responsibility.
"For every great American who very publicly inspires the next generation of innovators, carves out their place in sports history or leads a political revolution, there are those who quietly pursue just a little bit more for themselves, for their families and for their community.
"But for millions more still, circumstance, geography, financial constraints and, well, real life make achieving the American Dream feel like an impossible privilege reserved for the lucky.
"As a kid, I certainly believed that. And why shouldn't I have? My mom did the best she could with six kids, but we lived in a poor neighborhood and the odds were stacked against us. Kids from my neighborhood didn't get out. They didn't do more. This was it and there was nothing we could do about our situation. Surviving was key and the American Dream wasn't an option. Or so I thought.
"At 13, I started washing dishes in a cafeteria to help my family out financially. And as I would scrape the plates into a filthy garbage can and rinse them in scalding hot water, I realized there had to be a way out.
"So I buckled down, studied hard and earned an Army ROTC scholarship to the University of Tampa. It was there that I shed this idea that I didn't deserve more. It was there that I learned the value of hard work, the necessity of personal discipline and the value of genuine leadership.
"I am living proof that circumstances be damned - we all have a right to succeed in this country so long as we are willing to work and sacrifice for it.
"As a Green Beret, I led men into combat. As a CIA Case Officer, I fought in the Global War on Terror. As a CEO, I've created more than 600 jobs. As a husband and father, I've built a life for my family that by any measure, is the American Dream. And I have done all of these things because a little over 30 years ago the Reserve Officers Training Corps took a chance on a kid from the wrong side of town. What began as a way out, ultimately became the way up and that I owe that to the ROTC.
"We do not have to be victims of circumstance. We do not have to fall prey to this entitlement culture that is grooming the next generation of those who simply don't believe they are worthy of doing more. The possibility for greatness is our birthright, but the burden of achieving it is our responsibility.
"The greatest honor of my life has been to serve my country. We must make it our mission to ensure each and every young person in America believes that there is honor in service and glory in committing to something greater than themselves, to the cause of freedom and liberty. That is, after all, the ultimate American Dream."
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