The Real Senator John Ensign

From 1989 to 1994 I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I was a JAG in the Air Force at Nellis AFB.  JAG stands for Judge Advocate General’s Office, which means I was a captain and a military lawyer.  It was an interesting job.  I was a prosecutor for about three years, and then I was promoted to the position of defense counsel.

While on the defense side of the ledger, I worked with young enlisted men who had made mistakes and found themselves in the cross hairs of America’s most agressive prosecution system.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is the military’s version of the law.  While it is fairly well written and based upon the same constitutional rights of all Americans, the enforcement of the UCMJ started with the premise that the accused was always guilty.  It was a very challenging job to be a defense attorney, especially when everyone wanted me to roll over.

While at Nellis AFB, I began working with prisoners to help them rehabilitate themselves, and I eventually left the military after four years to become the Prison Fellowship Ministries Area Director of Nevada and Utah.  It was a great experience for a year, and I did see many lives transformed.

At that time there was a young man who was a veterinarian in Las Vegas, and he became the Chairman of my Prison Fellowship Board of Directors for Nevada and Utah.  We had many great planning sessions, and he played a major role in helping to establish the weekend seminars and all of our prison work.  I got to know him well enough to know that he was a man of deep convictions and traditional values.  He was very loyal and definitely a man of integrity.

One morning we were having breakfast, and he told me he was thinking of getting into politics by running for Congress.  I queried him, “That’s interesting, but you’ve never even been on the local city council.  To run for Congress your first time out and to win would be an extraordinary miracle.”  He admitted it would be, and we talked about it.  He planned on talking with Chuck Colson, our boss at Prison Fellowship Ministries, because Chuck knew politics and had friends who might offer wise counsel.

That was back in about 1993.  Today John is the esteemed Senator John Ensign from the great state of Nevada.  I haven’t talked to him since I left Nevada in 1994, but I can testify that John is without question a man of integrity, and in truth, he is the only man in national politics I trust without hesitation.  I miss talking to John.  He’s the kind of person you grow to love and appreciate.

Now you know the rest of the story in honor of Paul Harvey who died at the age of 90 this weekend.

1 Comment for “The Real Senator John Ensign”

  1. Andy Romano

    very good chuck, I will be watching for John…thank you, Andy R.

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