Friday, June 27, 2014
When I first met Ed Mishou at his home at River Bend Golf Resort, the thing that struck me most was that this retired Air Force officer who had defended his country over the air in countless theaters of war was so easy going and self-effacing.
There was no bravado, no swaggering, just a quiet determination to make a difference by running for office to represent his fellow citizens by defending the true tenets of the U.S. Constitution.
There was no mention of a military career which started in his flight training in Harlingen AFB or of his service in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1983 when he retired with the rank of colonel. During his military service, he was awarded several air medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the next highest recognition, the Legion of Merit.
Instead, he preferred to sit back in his Bermudas and discuss and debate his ideas concerning the erosion our personal liberties and the U.S. Constitution. He was a true Libertarian in the finest sense of the word.
Not one to be cowed by anything or anybody, he ran for the U.S. Congressional District 27 now held by Filemon Vela Jr., Blake Farenthold before then, and Solomon Ortiz prior to that.
To us, this was most refreshing.
There was an air of unvarnished sincerity in his views. That he was a mixture of French, English and Irish made him an American and he said the same of local Hispanics.
"I’m tired of all the hype about hyphenated Americans; there’s African-American, Mexican-American, Korean-American, Anglo-American, and on and on. STOP IT. We are all AMERICAN.
"Of course, we all have different ethnic heritage and backgrounds that we are proud of, and should remain always so...Others may choose to emphasize a cultural heredity such as industrial, agrarian, or military. Many have only one ethnic history and culture they desire to emphasize. Whatever the motivations, they are all wonderful. But, we are all AMERICAN."
He bristled at the thought that one has to be of a certain ethnic heritage to be elected in South Texas.
"Along the campaign trail I’ve met many who declared ‘you don’t have the right name (spell Spanish) so you don’t have a chance’. And I’m proud to respond 'Nonsense!!' All of Hispanic heritage that I’ve met are proud AMERICANS and they eagerly support me as the candidate who will best support a continuation of the American life they came here to enjoy. Then we will toast with a Margarita and enjoy a great Mexican meal."
A native of Dallas, Mishou and his wife, Nancy, moved to Brownsville in 2005 to retire. They have four adult children and three grandchildren.
His political activism began in 2008 as he became dissatisfied with the state of politics in the nation.
“I was very concerned about the direction I saw our country taking, and started becoming a very vocal advocate and trying to get people involved and paying attention, not with any intention of trying to become a candidate, but just trying to get people aware,” Mishou said. “I presumed out of that there would be viable candidates who would rise up who we could support, but we really didn’t see any.”
Being a combat veteran, one would have expected Ed to be a hawk on military matters. But having seen the world from thousands of feet up in the air probably made him see things clearer, too.
"Our national policy should be to set an example for other nations to accept if they so choose, but not to attempt to impose our governmental approach on any other sovereign nation. Our free trade with other nations should not be encumbered by U.S. government intrusion. The precious resources of other nations are their property and should never be considered ours except through trade and contract agreements...
"In too many instances, the U.S. has been a funding and supply source to both parties of an international dispute. That is morally wrong and detrimental to our interests."
Ed passed away June 22 and a memorial service was held at the clubhouse at River Bend on Friday. To his wife Nancy and all his extended family, our condolences. It'll be a while before we see another one like Ed in our midst.
Posted by jmon at 4:39 PM