Dedicated TO PEOPLE
About Aaron C. Edmond
My life story could have ended in many different ways, but through God’s grace, people dedicated to my success, and the art of perseverance I have always made the best of the cards I have been dealt. Three strong women; my Great Grandmother, Grandmother, and Great Aunt, representing two family generations would teach me the values of good character, accountability, respect for others, hard work and most importantly knowing right from wrong. These remarkable women stepped in to fill the gap and if I summed up the meaning of what they taught me, it would be “do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways that you can, as long as you can.” The strength that they instilled in me and the value in serving others has motivated me and defined my life’s purpose.
During my junior year of high school, I was elected to serve as the student representative of the Franklin Township Public School System. As a school board representative, I put the voices of students first and held the school board and high school administrators responsible for ensuring every student had a chance to succeed. After public school funding was reduced, I fought to protect our arts programs, athletic programs, and after-school tutoring programs by advocating for a local ballot measure to raise property taxes to save these programs despite lack of funding from the state. The ballot measure passed and residents agreed to pay more property taxes to preserve these important programs. I would then go on the next year to serve as Franklin High School Student Government President representing over 2,100 students.
The fall of my senior year I would be awarded the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank of Eagle Scout and join the ranks of only 1% of the nation’s population. I would also be one of a few African American Boy Scouts in New Jersey to receive the honor. I would later be recognized the following year by President Barack Obama who awarded me the President’s Volunteer Service Award for the significant impact of my Eagle Scout Service Project.
The summer after my junior year, I received call from the United States Navy! Reluctant, I answered the phone, and the recruiter on the other end of the line asked me a question. “What have you done to serve your country lately, your country needs you, are you willing to answer that call?” Somewhat taken aback by the question, I had never pondered how I could step up to serve my country more than I already had. I promised to get back to the recruiter the next day, and after speaking with my mother about the call, she reminded me my great-grandfather had served in the United States Navy during World War 2. After deep reflection, I realized I had been incredibly blessed in my life and had a significant opportunity to pay it forward yet again. The next day I would call the recruiter back to tell him I was ready to answer that call. I had no idea that the next year preparing to join the United States Navy and then going through basic training would be one of the hardest years in my life, but also the most rewarding! So with not knowing what would lie ahead, I signed my enlistment paperwork and took the oath.
On August 1, 2012 I arrived at the United States Navy’s only boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. I can still vividly recall my night of arrival, and in the chaos of screaming from our Recruit Division Commanders, a Master Chief Petty Officer ran up to me and asked: “What is your rank recruit!!!??” As a terrified recruit, I quickly sounded off “Master Chief Petty Officer, Petty Officer!!.” She then stared me straight in the eye and proclaimed I don’t know what it is about you, but you’re going to be one of those to make it. Her instinct would prove to be true. Nine weeks later I graduated from basic training. Shortly thereafter I would fly to Meridian, Mississippi to complete technical training as a Yeoman (Naval Administrator) for the next ten weeks. I excelled in my technical training becoming Executive Officer over a fleet of 60 Yeoman Graduates. That December I would return home to New Jersey for a few weeks and then pack up my belongings to start my Spring Semester at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.
Being a Navy Reservist and pursuing my studies full time presented challenges. To maintain a standard of living, I worked as a Service Clerk at the Walgreens on Main Street in the City of Fairfax, and as a Bank Teller at Loomis Armored in Springfield, VA. That summer, I moved to Woodbridge, VA. While moving to Woodbridge provided more affordable housing and an array of diversity, it was still a struggle to make it by. As an E3 in the United States Navy Reserve and working two jobs, I still became a food stamp recipient and had to rely on Prince William County services. During this time, I began to see the inadequacies of services offered at the local level in Prince William County for its most vulnerable citizens. When I needed help the most, I found that there was no safety net for me even as a veteran who continued to serve his country honorably.
After being recognized for my hard work with Ready for Hillary, once Hillary Clinton announced she would run for President her Virginia State Director reached out to me personally to enlist my help to start organizing her run in Prince William County. I would then take the next two semesters off from George Mason University to work on her campaign as a lead field organizer. With very little organizing experience I began to travel across Northern Virginia and Prince William County as a Hillary for America Field Organizer.
I had received news after the 2016 election that I had been a select few that would be put on special assignment to serve on Inauguration Duty for the incoming administration. After reviewing my stellar military record, they entrusted me to be a part of the sacred undertaking of the peaceful transition of power. Despite my personal views regarding a Trump Administration, I truly believed in the importance of the peaceful transition of power and put my country over my political beliefs. Not only did I work tirelessly, but my hard work was spotlighted in a DC Military news article and I was awarded a Joint Service Achievement Medal at the end of my assignment. The next year I would be early promoted to (E6) Petty Officer First Class.
In July 2017 the United States Navy called on me yet again to fill a position at the Pentagon working on the personal staff for the Chief of Naval Operations, the top admiral at the Pentagon who sits on the Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the President on all military matters regarding the Navy. So with that I found myself headed to the Pentagon where I served as the Front Office Manager for the Director of Expeditionary Warfare. Toward the end of my Pentagon tour I was promoted to work for the Office of the Chief of Navy Reserve as an Executive Disbursing Clerk.
Aaron C. Edmond
Despite long days at the Pentagon and grueling morning/evening commutes, I never stopped fighting to get other Democrats elected and worked vigorously on several campaigns to flip key seats in the Virginia House of Delegates. I also helped to successfully lobby the Prince William County School Board to update their non-discrimination policy to include gender identity and sexual orientation. Lastly I independently organized and chaired an Ad-Hoc Schools Committee comprised of local parents, teachers, students, and elected officials to lobby for more school funding to reduce classroom sizes and get a pay increase for our teachers.
Now, as a member of the United States Navy Reserve, I want to make a difference on the local level and continue my spirit of service to others. The Occoquan District needs a fighter, and I want to be that fighter that works hard for you every single day!