Andrew Smith’s Family. (Left to right) Bre Smith holding baby Ashton, Ari, Andrew and oldest son, Aidenn.

When I was growing up, my family faced challenges that will feel familiar to far too many Coloradans.

My family was of modest means, and by the time I turned 14, we were homeless. At 16, I was living on my own. Then, two months after I turned 18, I joined the Army and took a tour in Iraq.

I was married while in the Army, and my wife Bre and I became teen parents. While we met with incredible difficulty, we created a family that has brought me more joyand taught me more about myself—than I would have expected in a lifetime.

I moved to Colorado in January 2010 with my wife and our oldest son, Aidenn. We were originally stationed at Fort Carson. Like many, we decided to stay in Colorado once my term in the Army was up.

After getting back from Iraq in 2011, I began taking classes in marketing and business, while also getting involved in local politics. Feeling called to a life of service, and searching for a career that would enable me to make a difference, I attended the police academy. After completing the academy I decided that career as an officer wouldn’t allow me to make a large enough impact. I wanted to be a voice for people.

I worked at USAA insurance in various capacities as I became more involved in politics and added two more little ones to our family. I worked at the Capitol under the direction of the esteemed Senator Rhonda Fields.

I have worked with and started various local non-profit organizations, such as the Colorado Springs Chapter of Represent.us, a coalition that brings together conservatives, progressives, and those in between to pass anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken election system.

I currently spend free time as a volunteer coach for a youth football program for underprivileged youth.