Brian Mast, a first-time candidate and political novice, won a crowded Republican primary for a South Florida House seat Tuesday. Among the candidates he beat were the wife of the state senate president. The 35-year-old father of three isn't just a multi-tour combat veteran of Afghanistan—he's a double amputee since an IED blast during his final tour took both of his legs in 2010.
Here's more from CBS 12 in West Palm Beach:
"I was lying in Walter Reed Hospital in DC and I said to my wife, I'm not done yet," said Brian Mast, GOP Congressional Candidate District 18, "when I got into this race a year ago it was because of one thing- because I wasn't done defending this country I wasn't done fighting. And now I will take that fight to fix the problems of this country to Washington DC." Surrounded by his sons Magnum and Maverick, wife Brianna, and his little girl Madeline Mast, Brian Mast said after losing his legs working in the explosives unit in Afghanistan, he knows how to keep his calm and dig in for a long battle.
Mast will face off against Democrat Randy Perkins in the general election to succeed Democratic congressman Patrick Murphy, who ran for and won his party's nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Mast's service and entry into politics recalls Dean Barnett's 2007 essay for THE WEEKLY STANDARD about the 9/11 Generation. Here's an excerpt:
Regardless of their backgrounds, the soldiers I spoke with had a similar matter-of-fact style. Not only did all of them bristle at the notion of being labeled victims, they bristled at the idea of being labeled heroes. To a man, they were doing what they saw as their duty. Their self-assessments lacked the sense of superiority that politicians of a certain age who once served in the military often display. The soldiers I spoke with also refused to make disparaging comparisons between themselves and their generational cohorts who have taken a different path. But that doesn't mean the soldiers were unaware of the importance of their undertaking. About a month ago, I attended the commissioning of a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. The day before his commissioning, he had graduated from Harvard. He didn't come from a military family, and it wasn't financial hardship that drove him into the Armed Forces. Don't tell John Kerry, but he studied hard in college. After his commissioning, this freshly minted United States Marine returned to his Harvard dorm room to clean it out. As he entered the dorm in his full dress uniform, some of his classmates gave him a spontaneous round of applause. A campus police officer took him aside to shake his hand. His father observed, "It was like something out of a movie."