West to Northwood audience: Stand for your valuesCongressman Allen B. West
(Midland Daily News) – Former U.S. Congressman Lt. Colonel Allen West said his mother used to say, “Man must stand for something or fall for anything.”
This is something he said he lives by.
West spoke to about 200 people, many Northwood University students, at the Bennett Sports Center Riepma Arena this week about holding tight to values. West’s insights were part of the university’ annual Values Emphasis Week.
West talked about pursuing liberty and freedom by making sacrifices and holding to your core values, even when those values are tested. And having courage not to falter.
“We have a great country, but our value system is under attack,” West said.
He said some people are called to the battlefield to defend the country’s values and others may be called to educational institutions.
West was raised in Atlanta, in the same neighborhood where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. He is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family.
During his 22 years in the Army, West served in several combat zones, including Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan.
After retiring from the Army in 2004, West taught high school for a year. He said, when asked to teach another year, he declined and returned to Afghanistan, this time as a civilian military adviser.
He noted that when people die, there is a birth date and a death date, with a dash in between.
“Life is about how you live your dash,” West said.
He cites that courage, character, service of self and values are key in life.
“With those things comes freedom,” West said. “You have to live that dash. You have to live those values.”
Northwood accounting student Steven Coughlin called West inspiring.
“He made some good points,” Coughlin said. “He changed my view point on values. If you keep values, you’re going to do great things.”
Student Sahara Huhn, who is studying aftermarket manufacturing, said she attended not really knowing what to expect.
“I agreed with pretty much everything he said,” Huhn said.
Kate Pretty saw West speak a year ago in Florida and really enjoyed it.
“He speaks highly of our school and the values of our school,” Pretty said.
Allen is currently president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization established in 1983.
The organization’s goal is to develop and promote private, free-market alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector.