Mary Jennings (MJ) Hegar is a Texan with an impressive resume. Decorated Air Force pilot, Afghanistan War veteran, author and activist, in November Hegar hopes to add one more title: United States Representative.
Despite her accomplishments, being one of only two women to win the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, and her autobiography, Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front, Hegar still needs to be properly introduced to voters.
And she’s done it in a big way. Hegar’s campaign ad all about the doors in her life —those she’s walked through, had slammed in her face and kicked down— is quickly going viral.
Hegar shared the video on her official campaign Twitter account, MJ Hegar for Texas, Wednesday.
Why am I running for Congress against a Tea Party Republican in Texas? It all started with a door: https://t.co/fuNyjLzIqM
— MJ Hegar (@mjhegar) June 20, 2018
In the 3 1/2 minute video, Hegar tells of her early life, her aspirations, and how she worked her way through the ranks to achieve her dream of being an Air Force pilot. Hegar served as a Major in the US Air Force and Air National Guard and was honorably discharged after completing three tours of duty in Afghanistan.
But she also talks about the doors that closed to her after the Medevac helicopter she flew in Afghanistan was shot down and, due to her injuries, she was barred from flying and then, because of her gender, barred from her next military career path choice.
During her fight to gain access to previously barred career paths for women in the military, Hegar knocked on a lot of doors in Washington DC, asking for the time of her elected officials.
But many of those doors were closed in her face, according to Hegar. Not because her representatives disagreed with her, but because she wasn’t holding a check.
Just as she took on the Pentagon in 2012, Hegar now wants to take on John Carter, the Republican representative for her congressional district in Texas. Hegar says an elected official’s door should be open to all constituents, not just big money donors.
And her message of opening doors reverberates throughout her campaign.