Former U.S. Army Green Beret Jay Collins (R) sat down with The Floridianlast week and spoke about his past, and his story.
Growing up in difficult conditions, eating what he refers to as "wish" sandwiches, which he defines as "wish I had something else to eat" growing up, and losing his leg in combat, Collins works in non-profit providing aid to veterans and first responders.
He states this decision to work was inspired by his own background "because I've been there, I understand what it's like to need, to want, not have the things you need to be successful."
Subsequently, he states his firm belief that the United States is the land of opportunity and that those who sow divide are wrong. "So people who tell you we're divided by race, creed, color, gender, or whatever other thing they want to divide us by are wrong. We are the land of opportunity," he states.
Collins has received Governor Ron DeSantis' (R) endorsement and is set to run against incumbent Janet Cruz (D) for Florida Congressional District 14 in November.
Collins: "My story actually goes back a little further, right? I was born to an underage mom, I was adopted by my grandparents, raised in a working-class family without a whole lot. There were times where we couldn't rub two wooden nickels together. We had a lot of "wish" sandwiches, "wish I had something else to eat" growing up, right?"
Collins: "Had a college scholarship, didn't work out, wasn't ready. Joined the Army, and fell in love with it. Served 23 years, majority of that as a U.S. Army Green Beret. I did lose my leg at 18 years, and actually re-qualified as a Green Beret and served 5 1/2 years afterwards."
Collins: "I now work in the non-profit sector feeding people across the country and giving back to our veterans, military, and first responders. Why does my background matter to this? Because I've been there, I understand what it's like to need, to want, not have the things you need to be successful. I also understand that this nation is blessed, and we are truly the land of opportunity. So people who tell you we're divided by race, creed, color, gender, or whatever other thing they want to divide us by are wrong. We are the land of opportunity. Why is it people run to our shores? Why is it that people beckoning and craving freedom wave the American flag? Because we stand for that, we are that, but it's time we as a nation remember that."
Collins: "Those things are true, they are self-evident, and they are the things that I unequivocally believe in. I fought for this nation overseas, I fought for this nation after I lost my leg, and I continue to fight for the American people in this new role as a State Senator."