A Tribute to Strong Women: Thank you, Mom

Hey folks,

Today, on International Women’s Day, I’m taking a moment to honor the most influential woman in my life: my mom, Patty.

Many of you heard on Wednesday about the profound lesson my mom taught me—to serve and care for others. But today, I want to share a bit more about how she exemplified those values by caring for us.

After my parents’ divorce, my mom single-handedly raised my siblings and me in a Washington state trailer park. Times were tough. We relied on food stamps, free school meals, and welfare while my mom juggled nursing school and her ambition to join the USAF.

Our lives transformed when Patty completed her nursing degree and was commissioned into the United States Air Force. I was eight. Moving to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, we were suddenly part of a community that offered us everything from military healthcare to access to swimming pools and safe neighborhoods—luxuries we hadn’t dared dream of before.

This stability was something new, something precious. It was my mom’s hard-earned achievement that provided us a life of security and opportunities, a life that taught me never to take anything for granted.

By nine, inspired by Marine Corps trainees at Lackland AFB, I knew I wanted to serve my country, just like my mom. Reflecting on our journey, I often ponder: Why can’t every struggling family have access to the kind of support that changed our lives?

Many Americans today live paycheck to paycheck, struggling to provide basic needs for their families. I’ve been there, and I understand the feeling all too well—the feeling that you’re stuck because you don’t even have “boots” to pull yourself up by.

The Air Force was my mom’s lifeline, giving us a chance at a better life. I believe every American deserves that same opportunity, not just military families. We need to rethink our investment in healthcare, education, and the welfare of our citizens. When we empower people with the resources they need, they rise. They build better lives for their families and communities. I’ve witnessed it firsthand, through the eyes of a child watching his mom overcome adversity.

I’m carrying the lessons of service and resilience my mom taught me throughout this campaign and into Congress. If you’re in a position to support, join my fight. Every decision I make, every vote I cast, will be with working families like ours in mind, honoring parents like my mom, Patty McCorkle.

Semper Fi,

Ike McCorkle

Combat Wounded, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired Democratic Candidate for CO-04

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