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My name is Tom Baugh, and I grew up on the outskirts of Ellisville, Mississippi. I met my wife Audrey in elementary school and she has been by my side since, helping me in our business. We homeschool our daughter, and our homeschooled son graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Southern when he was 19.

After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1988, I became a Marine, and was given an Air Medal for riding around in a box in the back of KC130 in Desert Storm as an Air Support Control Officer. I earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech, and went to work at McDonnell Douglas in Huntsville as a principal engineer in their product development directorate. After a few contracting assignments, Audrey and I started our consulting company, SoftBaugh, Inc., in 1998 in Alpharetta, Georgia. We have supplied development tools and project consulting to thousands of customers worldwide in a variety of sectors, including defense, nuclear, space, medical, energy and industrial projects.

During this time, my country roots continued to call to me; I wanted my children to experience the same wholesome life I enjoyed in the swamps and pine forests of Mississippi. After a few years at a country place in Roberta, our son Morgan left for college at Georgia Southern. Since he is an important part of the business, I wanted to move to somewhere nearby so that he could still work on projects from time to time. Audrey found an old school for sale in Manassas, and since I’ve always wanted to restore an old building, I immediately bought the place.

I also believe in the concept of noblesse oblige, the idea that people who have been blessed with wealth and privilege have an obligation to better the communities around them. An obligation that exists not because the government takes it by force and gives it away, but because we, as individuals, are good stewards and our brothers’ keepers.

Accordingly, I expected that we would be able to turn this old school into not just our home and our business, but a place where we could host events that would make the city and the county a better place to live. We have hosted fire department training, amateur radio training and testing, and community defense training, but this is only the tip of the iceberg of the sort of things which would have been possible. These were my reasonable expectations for moving into a small community in the South.

Instead, I quickly found that Manassas is a place where actual crime goes unpunished, while citizens are accused of crimes for simply asking that its government obey the law. A place where the government exists as a jobs program for a few insiders and their families. A place that decays off the map due to petty selfishness and spite by its officials. A place that reflects, in small scale, the decay and rot of the nation as a whole.

This is not the America I grew up in. This is not the America I fought for. This is not the America I am going to silently tolerate. We may not be able to do much, as individuals, against the vile corruption that has taken root in the nation as a whole, and has threatened to destroy everything we hold dear as Americans, but we can certainly work together to sweep our own front porch.

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