Bob Hall

Bob HallTexas Senator Bob Hall has proven himself to be a true champion of liberty. Senator Hall graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina with a degree in Electrical Engineering and received a Regular Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. While a cadet at the Citadel, he received numerous awards for leadership. He was the only Air Force Cadet selected to be a Battalion Commander and was awarded the coveted Wade Hampton Saber as the graduating cadet who had contributed the most to the Citadel during the four years he was a cadet.

He was also listed in "Who's Who in American Colleges" his senior year. Upon graduation, Bob began his active duty as a Systems Engineer working to develop the Minuteman Missile System during the Cold War at Norton AFB in California, where he achieved the rank of Captain.

   Following his service, he owned and operated an engineering consulting company. After retiring, he was elected Senator to Senate District 2. In the Texas Senate, he was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Vice-Chairman of Committee on Veteran Affairs & Border Security, he has earned the reputation of being open minded and willing to discuss ideas but absolutely unwavering in holding to his core conservative principles and Judeo-Christian values. He is a man who believes in the Declaration of Independence and follows the Constitution. He is pro-life, pro-gun, pro-liberty, pro Judeo-Christian conservative values, and a staunch proponent of the free market.

   Finally, Bob and his wonderful wife Kay reside in Edgewood, Texas. His compelling sense of duty shaped by his military service, business experience, and love for this country, drives him to leave behind for his children and grandchildren the legacy of a patriotic servant.

   There's nobody here by accident tonight. And there's nobody that should be here tonight that isn't here. That's the way God works. God has a plan and His plan is a whole lot better than what I have. He never gave up on me. I'm here to talk with you tonight about where I came from and what God has done in my life. I was really blessed. I'm not a native Texan, but I married one. She was born in Commerce and raised in Ladonia. We were living in Florida which is where we were going to retire, when she gave me a note that said, “This is where I'm going to be in Rockwell, Texas. Would you like to join me? And so it turns out grandkids had shown up, and there is something about Texas. It’s like monarch butterflies, they come home at certain times, and then one of these grandkids show up. We agreed that we should be within driving distance to Rockwall. I would never be standing here talking to you if that did not happen.

   I grew up knowing Jesus. I was partially raised by a grandmother who had me to church for the first time. I was nine years old when I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. But it wasn't like it changed my life completely but it laid the foundation, and I waited for a number of years, off and on again, up and down. And it wasn't until a few years before we moved from Florida that I happened to be standing in a grocery store and we were having a conversation with a lady. I wasn't standing real close to her because she needed a bath. I was a little apprehensive and started talking about the church we were going to. She no, I don't go there anymore. I said, "Really, why is that?" And she said, "Nope, he preaches that works get you into heaven and I don't believe that". That was the first time that it dawned on me that salvation was a gift from God. You can't earn it. You can't do enough to get it. I had faith and I believed even though I didn't have the knowledge. You could know the Bible and not be saved. And you can have faith to be saved and not know the Bible. He sure makes it a lot easier when you put the two together. And so that was my journey back to the Lord.

   It wasn't long after that that we retired and sold the business. We had a consulting business, and traveled throughout the country, working with the major aerospace companies. We had written proposals for them to make acquisitions. Nineteen ninety-five was a rather traumatic year for us. We had hurricane Aaron when we lived near the beach. The hurricane tore up our house. It didn't destroy it, but it did considerable damage.

   Four weeks later, I went into the hospital for cancer surgery and three weeks later we went to Dallas on business. I couldn't carry much of anything. I was still recovering, and we traveled real light. While we were in Dallas, another storm had been developing in the Gulf and was headed to Mexico. It stopped, turned around, and headed back to Florida. The tropical depression turned into hurricane Oakland. It traveled the same path as Aaron except backwards. Aaron came in from the East. Oakland came in from the West which was bad news. It pushed a huge fifteen foot wave of water over the island and wiped out the lower part of the house, and ripped off the roof. It took seven years to settle with the insurance company. We ended up with a travel trailer and then a fifth wheel truck with a motor home. We used the motor home in our business. It worked out because we were traveling so much we didn't need a house. So for eleven years we called ourselves trailer trash, living in a motor home, traveling about and we didn't have a home. Homeless trailer trucks. During this process, we worked with the Southern Baptist disaster feeding unit. We got qualified by the Texas men's disaster feeding unit.

   Since I had an airplane and a commercial pilot's license for twin-engine instrument-rated, I started working with an organization called Angel Flight. It's a group of volunteers that fly people to medical facilities from this area to Houston or San Antonio. We would pay the expenses for people that couldn’t afford to fly commercial. It’s a great way to minister to people. It's a great ministry out there but between those that's what we're going to do. Between those, that was our plan, so we built and up. This was our criteria for moving to Texas.

   I asked my wife if we could find an air park close to Rockwall and eventually she was agreeable. So we found a little Tailwind Airport east of Canton, and property to build a house. While building the house, I went to a tea party. I had never been a political person. My wife was a political person. When we lived in Florida, she would go protest, make signs, go march, and other things. In the back of my mind, I a little upset with George Bush with his talk of a bailout and I didn't like a lot of what I was hearing about President Obama. I was on the fringe of what's going on here. So I went to this tea party and met Doc Collins and his eight-year-old grandson. Doc was a veterinarian and running for the Texas House. He had a tag around his grandson’s neck with a price tag of $38,472. I looked at that tag and said, "Doc, this is East Texas, you'll never get that much for him tonight." And he said, "No, that's what he owes." I said, "Doc, he's eight years old. What's he doing with a credit card?" He said, "This is not a credit card debt, but this was his share of the national debt." He said, "Every man, woman, and child owes that amount." 

   That was ten years ago, its $54,000 today. Well, that shocked me. I had no idea we had that much debt. That didn't sit well with me. I said, “Wow that's not good.” So I went to another meeting and there was a man there that was talking about a book called the 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen. And he's writing about the miracle of what God did in creating United States America, using old white men that didn't know what they were doing. Well, the average age of our founding fathers that wrote the Constitution was forty-four, and two of them that were under twenty.

   The founders were geniuses. They reached back in history to Socrates and Plato, looked at the Greeks and the Romans, and the concepts of "Republics." Along the way they picked and chose parts and pieces from each one of those that was in the Bible. Our form of government came from Isaiah 33:22, “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us.” I mean I can stand up here tonight and just talk about how you define the structure of our government in the Bible when Jethro was telling Moses how to organize in groups of 10 and 50 and 100 and a 1000. That's just like what we have in our government here and it goes on and on. But anyway, the miracle of how it came together in such a way that was being built from the bottom up by the people. Not a king, not a conqueror, but a group of people saying we want to live together in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is what it was all about? Government is there to protect our liberties. It's not there to provide free stuff. And so the pieces work as a dispersion of power. Our citizens have the right to elect our officials.

   Government was intended to be able to balance the evil heart of man. Quoting one of our founders Patrick Henry, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”

   And then I came across another book called The Greatest Generation written by Tom Brokaw and that got to me. While reading Tom Brokaw's book, I realized that that was my parents. That was my dad, my uncles, my grandparents, the group of folks who lived through the depression, who took on the two mightiest armies in the world. Women came out of the homes and hung up their aprons to put on welding clothes, and built tanks and ships and bombs. We came together as a nation and we entered the war. Here's the amazing thing, you know we look back now as seeing ourselves as the mighty America of World War II. It was Americans and the Japanese, and Americans and the Germans and we were the mighty army that beat them. Did you know there were forty-eight nations that had gone to war before we entered World War II? And you know where we ranked in military strength?  Fourteenth. Portugal had a bigger, mightier army than we did.

   We lost half our navy at Pearl Harbor. The Yorktown was badly damaged, but we had people. God had put the right people in the right place at the right time. Admiral Nimitz was there at Pearl Harbor. He looked at what was left, analyzed the damage and talked with his engineers and naval architects and said, "How long will it take to get the Yorktown battle-ready?"

They said "It'll take three to six months." He chewed on his cigar and said, "You have three days," and they did it. And Yorktown played a key role in the Battle of Midway. That was God's hand. The Japanese were confused and made mistakes. Do you know how we broke the code of the Japanese? It was God's hand putting geeky people in the right place at the right time. Then, we took them on and became a great nation, but we did not conquer anyone. We liberated the people of those nations, and then we went back and rebuilt their countries. We rebuilt Germany. We rebuilt Japan. And look at them today. And look at the world economy. Had we just conquered them like other nations had done historically, I doubt we'd be anywhere like what we are today.

   Let me back up to earlier in the story of how God's hands changed things for me. I was talking to Doug earlier and he asked how I ended up at the Citadel. That wasn't my plan. My plan as a teenager in high school was to be a hotshot college football player. I was captain of our high school football team. I thought I was better than what I really was. But God put me out of my misery by giving me a serious back injury, and ended up in the hospital for six months in traction and that took away any possibility of playing football. So before I graduated from high school, I couldn't decide where I really wanted to go. But my best friend who was a quarterback got a scholarship to the Citadel. He invited me up for a weekend visit. I went up there to visit with him. I looked at the school, and it was a military school of the first order. They locked me in the barracks at night, wore a uniform and ate square meals. And I thought, "This is what I need."

   Most of my friends that were a year ahead of me had gone to the University of Florida or Florida State or Miami University and most of them were home by Thanksgiving or Christmas. They got drunk at parties, chased girls and didn't study.

   I said, "I can't afford that, and don’t have enough discipline to resist that environment. So I'm going to the Citadel for a year." So I did that, went there for a year. I walked through that gate. The story I heard later, was that my mother cried all the way back to Jacksonville, left her oldest son those mean old military people.

   The first thing I learned at the Citadel was the honor code – “You don't lie, you don't cheat, you don't steal, and you don't tolerate those who do.” The honor code was run by the cadets. I also learned that you never, never, never quit. You have to have some-- you make it be, but you don't quit. At the end of first year, I was determined to graduate. I got involved with church activities, was captain of the skydiving team and participated other school activities. During my senior year, I was recognized as contributing the most of any cadet to the Citadel. I was the only Air Force cadet that was battalion commander.

   After graduation, I was going into the Air Force and wanted to be a hotshot fighter pilot. That was my plan. I worked real hard at it. I majored in electrical engineering and received a rock-solid C. I never failed a class. I was ready for flight school, but failed my vision test with a 20/25. My world was crushed. What is the difference between 20/20 and 20/25? Anyway, so the Air Force said, "Where would you like to go?" I had just seen an Annette Funicello movie and said, "Can I go to California?" So they sent me to California and I was stationed at Norton Air Force Base in Southern California. I was involved with the Minuteman missile program. When I showed up there on July 31, 1964, I handed my orders. They looked at me and said, "What are you doing?" I said, "My orders sir." He said, "Now I know that. But you're a second lieutenant and we don't take second lieutenants in this command. We've got a dispensation for senior captains and majors in the advanced degrees." So I spent three weeks trying to interview with Colonels to get a job. No one wanted to hire me. I'd drive over to the officer's club waiting for my next interview. And then one day, I got an interview from this major, a Naval Academy graduate, and he and I hit it off as we talked about Alabama football. He looked worn out and tired when I saw him. Prior to that he'd been out travelling and we'd talk a little bit. We hit it off because we were talking about Alabama football, and that kind of brought us together. Some of you may not remember this, but that was the year that John Gregory Huarte of Notre Dame University won the Heisman trophy, and it was also the same year that Joe Namath was drafted by the New York Jets. We both agreed that Huarte could put his $200,000 in the bank, because Namath was doing meth. He said, "I got so much work to do here, I'd hire anybody. Take that test." And so I did and got the job.

   It worked out that he was a perfect guy for me to work for. With his shepherding in just three years, I became the go-to person for solving problems. But God waited to put me there. I shouldn't never been there. I was promoted to Captain. The DARPA, which is a scientific office of Pentagon, came to me and said, "We have a very serious problem with the operational capability of the Minuteman.'' This was during the height of the Cold War. We were in a race with the Russians to see who can build the most nuclear weapons, missiles and bombers. This was the greatest strategy we ever had because it kept us from going to war. The AF said, "The Russians that have a new threat against us that we have never thought about before and we're vulnerable to it and they aren't." I won't go into the details, but it is called EMP--Electromagnetic Pulse-- it's a phenomena that'll happen by detonating a nuclear weapon outside the atmospheric of the earth and the gamma rays from the nuclear weapon impinge on the particles in the air, cut the electrons loose and create huge electric currents that fry everything. Our missiles were susceptible because we used integrated circuits in our guiding systems.

   We were so much smarter than the Russians. They had vacuum tubes and mirrors. So they lost. Well it just so happens they worked and couldn't come up with a fix. I didn't describe this program, but it had two parts: one the missile and the other what the command and control side. I was in command and control. Now I had nine project officers working for me.  

   That was laying the foundation for what ended up happening when Kay handed me that note that said, "I'm going to be in Rockwall, Texas, if you care to join me." During this time I ran for state senator on the tea party ticket. We were informing our citizens with a clarion call, "This is your country, and this is a government that God has given you to live in liberty. You've got to pay attention to what's happening and the way you participate is by voting. By picking the people that have the values that you have and match those values with our constitutional. We need limited government, protecting liberty, not providing free stuff." We need to know the people we're putting in office. My first responsibility is to serve my Lord Jesus Christ. I'm a Constitutional conservative second, and I'm a Republican third. 

   Henry T. Blackaby said, “Find out what God is doing and join Him.”

 

Bob's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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