Tags: GOP2016 | allen west | 2016 | pre-politics | highlights

Allen West 2016: 7 Highlights From Pre-Politics Life of Potential GOP Presidential Hopeful

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 02:38 PM

If an Allen West 2016 White House bid picks up steam in the months ahead, GOP voters will see his life before politics take center stage.

Before he made headlines as a brash and candid Florida congressman, West carved out a life as a decorated military veteran.

West's past will influence how voters see a potential Allen West 2016 Republican nomination for good and bad. These seven highlights from his life before politics show a man who is as colorful as he demonstrated in his short tenure in Congress:

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1. Military man

Serving in the armed forces is in West's blood. His father fought in World War II and his older brother served in Vietnam. West joined them, serving in Kuwait in 1991 and Iraq in 2003.

He also worked with a defense contractor following his retirement from the Army, and spent two years in Afghanistan.

2. Prisoner abuse controversy

West saw his military career come to an end while serving in Iraq in 2003.

He was charged for an incident during which his subordinates beat an Iraqi police officer, and West simulated the man's execution to gain information on enemy operatives.

West was fined $5,000 and forced into retirement in 2003.

3. Military accomplishments

West was heavily decorated during his two decades of military service. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.

His medals and commendations include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Air Assault Badge and the Master Parachutist Badge.

Vote Now: Which Potential GOP Candidate Would You Support in 2016?

4. Educational pursuits


Before joining the Army, West earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee. He later returned to college and earned a master's degree in political science from Kansas State University.

5. Family life

West married Angela Graham in 1989. The couple have two daughters.

Angela West has a strong academic background. She earned a Ph.D. in education from Kansas State, and later served on the board of trustees for Florida Atlantic University.

6. Scuba diving enthusiast

While in college, West became certified in scuba diving. He was recertified and then received a master diver certification after retiring from the army.

7. Teaching and coaching

West dabbled in his wife's career field for a short time. He taught history classes at Deerfield Beach High School in Florida in 2005. While there, West also coached the track and field team.

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Former U.S. Rep. Allen West's past will influence how voters see a potential Allen West 2016 Republican nomination for good and bad. These seven highlights from his life before politics show a man who is as colorful as he demonstrated in his short tenure in Congress.
allen west, 2016, pre-politics, highlights
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2015-38-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 02:38 PM
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