Updated: Friday, 29 Jan 2010, 12:06 PM EST
Published : Friday, 29 Jan 2010, 12:05 PM EST
“For approaching 30 years I have had the honor to wear the Army’s uniform. And, for the past 18 years I have had the honor to serve the people in Indiana in the U.S. Congress. Today, I am announcing my retirement from the U.S. Army Reserve this summer and retirement from the U.S. Congress at the conclusion of this term due to the recent diagnosis of my wife, Joni.
I met my wife Joni in the 3rd grade and we were high school sweethearts. Joni has adorned my side and has supported me through my military service, both during war and peace, and from the very beginning of my Congressional career—18 years ago through today. Joni has supported this endeavor since my first year of Congress when it meant my commuting from Indiana to Washington D.C. so we could raise our family in Monticello. This meant early mornings, waking up at 3:45 a.m. so I could drive to Indy to fly to DC and be in my office by 9 a.m. This schedule called on her to endure the added stress of many times being a single parent during the week while I was away.
Joni continuously, has given me strength and encouraged me to fight on for my beliefs and causes which meant being away from home to work on behalf of our country including on such high profile investigations as Waco, Impeachment, the Florida recount, and Katrina…. This support comes with the added stress of Joni being my strong, calmly collected sounding board.
On November 24th and reconfirmed on January 19th, and further again today, Joni has been diagnosed with what doctors call an “incurable,” autoimmune disease. While Joni’s sister died twenty one months ago from this disease, I will not call it incurable because it’s our faith that allows us to believe that all diseases will be cured. As part of her prognosis, she has been advised to “de-stress” her life; therefore, I believe it is my family’s best interest for me to complete my service to the nation in military uniform and in Congress.
I have made application to retire from the Army Reserve effective August 1st completing a 30 year career. In addition, I have spoken with Minority Leader Boehner and Governor Daniels that I plan to complete my present term in Congress. I will not seek re-election to the Fourth Congressional District.
Joni and I have much to be thankful for and appreciate the opportunity to serve. I publically profess my love and appreciation to my daughter, Colleen, and son, Ryan, who shared their Dad to serve the great causes of this nation. We have also been blessed to meet so many wonderful people over the years and their support has been humbling. However, our successes could not have occurred without the great team we have had to pleasure to work with on a daily basis. For that reason, I am especially thankful and appreciative to my staff and to so many who steadfastly supported me over the years.
The country is at a historic crossroads today. I am truly concerned with the direction in which the country is heading but we have laid the groundwork so my successor can step in and succeed. Politically, the easiest thing would have been to run again because of the wave that is coming for the American people to take back their country.
To this day, I am in awe of what the founders of this nation set in place: Peaceful transfers of power, the rule of law, and the people’s voice in the process. There are many things I will miss doing but now is the time to step back and focus on Joni…. my family. Joni and I again thank everyone who has been a part of this effort. It has been an honor.”