Marine Lieutenant Ilario Pantano with Staff Sergeant Jason Glew, his senior NCO in Al Anbar
We've followed the trials and tribulations of USMC First Lieutenant Ilario Pantano for awhile here on BlackFive. We've supported him since the beginning (and had to fight some of our own to do so), and, now, Ilario is running for Congress in the Congressional District NC-7. The 7th District has not had a Republican since March 3, 1871!
Pantano and his family live in North Carolina where, since 2006, he continues to serve his community as a Deputy Sheriff.
I'll post his press release after the Jump for you to read, but what you should all do is go visit his website, which unlike most campaign sites, is kept fresh and up to date with videos and commentary about Ilario on the campaign trail. Almost like a reality show - It's called "100 Days of Work" but I think of it as "No Better Friend TV".
Sign up for updates, volunteer if you're there in the district, and tell Ilario we have his back. I'll be donating to his campaign, too.
Update: The BlackFive family just donated $50.
Marine Veteran Joins other Conservatives Looking to Challenge Long Time Democratic Strongholds and Ivory Tower Politics Ilario Pantano: Candidate for Congress (NC-7) WILMINGTON, North Carolina, Jan 28---War veteran, author and businessman Ilario Pantano today formally announced his candidacy for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District. An independently minded Republican, Mr. Pantano is looking to challenge Rep. Mike McIntyre, a fourteen year incumbent in district held by Democrats for the last 100 years.
Pantano, 38, launched his congressional campaign with the '100 Days of Work' initiative highlighting South Eastern North Carolina's number one issue: Jobs and the economy. In daily candid discussions with employers and employees, Pantano turns to the free market of ideas to refine the solutions needed to revive the lagging economy. “As someone who has agonized over payroll and scrambled to get customers, I can relate to the struggles and the triumphs in today's job market and the paralyzing effects of excessive taxation, regulation and litigation.” Pantano, whose young children attend public school, also makes the case for top-tier educational programs that can simultaneously attract and educate a work force of innovators.
Pantano's '100 Days of Work' connects him to the people of the 7th district whose representation has been monopolized by a single party for over 100 years. “From my experience in small and large companies, I recognize that the best ideas often come from the bottom up and not the top down, particularly when the top has lost touch with the people.” The call to serve his country is not a new one. Pantano has sworn the oath to defend the Constitution of the United States three times in his life: First as a 17-year old Marine. Then, over a decade later, after witnessing the attacks on 9/11, Pantano returned to the service and led a platoon of infantry Marines in Falluja through some of the fiercest fighting of the war. During combat operations, Pantano killed two terrorists and was later accused of murder. A military hearing dismissed all charges against him, but after receiving Jihadist death threats to his family, Pantano chose to resign from the Marine Corps. In 2006 he swore an oath to protect his local community in New Hanover County as a Deputy Sheriff. “My wife and I chose to live in North Carolina, not because we were born here, but because we respected the Southern traditions of Faith in God, Service, Loyalty and Devotion. Those are the values I strive to live by and those are the values I teach my sons.”
In 1998, a decade before Wall Street's underbelly was publicly exposed, Pantano made a decision to reject the greed mentality that he found morally repugnant, despite the salary. “As a capitalist, I appreciate the importance of profit, but as someone one who had always put service before self, I could not abide by the damage that was being done to human lives by reckless speculators like Enron.” Five years ago, Pantano presciently wrote of his decision to leave Wall Street in his memoir Warlord. In one story, a Goldman trader, who would later go on to management at AIG, smugly goaded Pantano, “Do you know how much money I made in oil while you were in the Gulf War?” Today, Pantano laments on the AIG bailout, “now all of our children will pay to protect that trader's private airplane, and that is not okay.”
His campaign can be followed at http://www.pantanoforcongress.com. For press inquiries or to schedule an interview, please call Hillary Meinheit at (910) 476-9783 or email PantanoPR@gmail.com
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.