About Me...

FreedomsAdvocate c. 1983, Sinai Peninsula, EgyptMy name is Steven Burden and I am an Army Brat. I was born in Wurzburg, Germany, and grew up speaking both English and German. My father was in Explosives Ordinance Disposal in Germany at the time, and got himself blown up. He lost his left arm and left leg. He was shipped stateside, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and we followed as he was in Walter Reed for over two years. Dad was medically retired from the Army, and went to work for what was then called the National Bureau of Standards--now known as the National Institute of Science and Technology. We lived in Kensington, Maryland, right outside of DC.
Same old story, my parents were divorced after 22 years of marriage, and Dad ended up in Kentucky. So in 1976, I moved there to go to college. I majored in Physics. I loved college.
Early in 1981--somewhat motivated by Iran's taking of US hostages--I enlisted in the Military and went into Military Intelligence. I studied Arabic in Monterey, CA. My first real assignment after training was at Ft Campbell, KY. While there, I did two tours with the Multinational Forces and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt as a Liaison Officer between the Egyptians and the Israelis.
After completing my initial enlistment, I went into the active reserves in 1985, and went back to College, again in Kentucky, this time studying International Studies. After a stint with the International Division of Kroger in Cincinnati, I decided I liked the military better, so in 1986 I went back on active duty.
I stayed in Intelligence, but this time with 1st Special Operations Command at Ft Bragg, NC. I loved my time in Special Operations. I served in Operation Just Cause (Panama) 1989-90, and Operations Desert Shield/Storm and Calm (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, and UAE) 1990-1992. After some staff jobs and a plainclothes assignment on MacDill AFB, FL from 1993 to 1997, I was seconded to UNSCOM to support the Iraqi weapons inspection teams headquartered in Manama, Bahrain in early 1997. I finished my military career teaching a Human Intelligence course for the Defense Intelligence Agency at Ft Huachuca, AZ.
After I retired in September of 1998 (Sergeant First Class) my family and I settled in Tampa, FL. In November 2000 I began working at Verizon as a Software Engineer.  I designed national level systems used to engineer Fiber Optic communications installations for voice, data, and video.
In March 2013 I retired from Verizon and I have been goofing-off ever since.
My daughter is currently unmarried and works in a local Pain Management doctor's office.
My wife is a DoD Acquisition Executive who was medically retired after a car accident in May 1994. She is a (breast & uterine) cancer survivor. And also the light of my life!
I have been accused of being a workaholic; I smoke (e-cig's), drink, and (rarely) cuss. And laugh as much a possible. I tend to vote Republican most of the time, but lean very strongly toward libertarian concepts. Although I am a capital 'L' Libertarian who is leaning more and more toward free-market anarchism, I think Nobel Prize Laureate Milton Friedman's self-description, when he said:
I am a Republican with a capital 'R' and a libertarian with a small 'l.' I have a party membership as a Republican...because that's the way I am the most useful and have most influence. My philosophy is clearly libertarian.
also defines my ideology most closely. Thus I am a 'policy wonk', and lean toward 'Classical Liberalism'; Freedom and liberty are my ideal (hence the name for this website).

My favorite quote (Robert Heinlein):
Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.

I belong to numerous organizations:

Gun Owners of America - Life Member
Libertarian Party - Life Member
National Rifle Association - Patron Life Member
Disabled American Veterans - Life Member
Republican National Committee - Life Member
James Madison Institute - Tampa Bay Board of Advisors
Reason Foundation
Ludwig Von Mises Institute
Institute for Justice
The Rutherford Institute

Based on the picture in the banner, a number of people have asked what 'medals' I have, so here is a list of my awards and decorations (as they are correctly referred to in the military):
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal (4th Award)
Good Conduct Medal (4th Award)
National Defense Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal (3 Campaign Stars)
Multinational Force And Observers Medal (2nd Award)
Saudi Arabian Liberation of Kuwait Medal
Kuwaiti Liberation of Kuwait Medal 
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (Just Cause)
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Desert Shield/Storm)