Recently I met up with a very cool family who lives outside of Farmington. I guess I was attracted to their story because they are transplants to the area, too. I’m always fascinated by people who move to the area and their motivations. Like me, they moved here to raise their kids in peace and enjoy beautiful rivers and parks, like Pickle Springs.
This scenic natural area contains all sorts of fascinating sandstone rock formations including box canyons and wet weather waterfalls. The sandstone rock here is the Lamotte sandstone that was formed from sandy beaches of a shallow ocean that existed here 500 million years ago. Since then layers of limestone were buried upon this sandstone but millions of years of erosion and uplift of the Ozark plateau have exposed the sandstone we see today.
Over the eons, ice, rain, wind, plant roots, and streams have worn away this sandstone to form the many unique geologic features here. Some of the interesting geologic features include a double arch that holds up a shelf of sandstone, narrow slot-like canyons, hoodoos (mound or pillar-like sandstone blocks weathered into unusual shapes), a spring flowing out of sandstone (Pickle Springs), and sandstone talus slopes.
You really can’t beat the blue skies, the wildlife, and the friendly people. Yup, we really have it made in the 573.
Meet Joshua Barrett
Husband, father of three, and sportsman, Joshua is a former Marine Combat Engineer with several combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. As a combat engineer, he was wounded several times. He still bears the scars, though he sees them as badges of honor for protecting freedom. In addition, Josh has extensive experience in cyber-security, management, and public policy that makes him highly qualified to be a state senator.
Yes, he is running for a Missouri State Senate seat. Again, I am always amazed by the talent of the local population. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention! He works for the Mineral Area College police department and serves on the board of directors for his family’s software company, United Technology Solutions. Wow, when does this guy sleep?
573: Tell us about you and your family.
After I retired from the Marines, my wife Lauren and I settled on the family farm in St. Francois County. We are the proud parents of three boys: Tristan, Gavin, and Brayden. They love playing hockey, soccer, and spending time outdoors. We also have three rescue dogs that are a big part of the family—a German Shepherd named Maddie, a Black Lab named Fitzgerald, and our newest German Shepard Bruno. We are proud Christians and enjoy being active in our community through service organizations. I’ve been the Chairman of the St. Francois County Republican Central Committee, and I am a Co-Founder of the St. Francois County Conservative Club. I'm also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a former Junior Vice Chairman of the Farmington Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter.
We love this area and our community, and we knew we wanted to settle down here once I retired from the Marine Corps. Our boys love to be outdoors—that is something we enjoy as the whole family—and there are so many state and national parks around to explore. We enjoy the rural way of life where people look after one another and take care of their neighbors. There is a real sense of community here that you don't find in urban areas.
573: Tell us why you are running for state senate.
Simply put, I'm running to be a voice for 'we the people'—the working men and women of our state and community who often feel they don't have a voice at the table.
We need to secure the American Dream for the next generation.
For far too long, wealthy, out-of-touch career politicians have led our state and middle-class Missourians like my family are the last thing on their minds. I want my boys to be able to grow up and get a family-supporting job here in rural Missouri, but currently, that is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. We need to secure the American Dream for the next generation.
573: What would you like to see changed?
I would like to see our government stop focusing on the super-wealthy and instead focus on middle class America. We need to lower taxes and invest in our rural communities. Too often our tax dollars make their way to Jefferson City but never make their way back to our rural communities. There is more to Missouri than St. Louis and Kansas City, but the lobbyists and power brokers they have for those cities are leaving our rural communities without a voice in the process. This has to change.
573: Why should the average guy care about what you have to offer?
I'm a working-class Missourian who will fight for the average Joe.
The average person should care about what I have to offer because I am an average person. I'm just like them—I've had my ups and downs, and there was a time in my life when I was being treated for war-sustained injuries. I was left with nothing but a pile of medical bills.
I had to take on multiple jobs and through hard work and determination fight my way out of debt and build a better life for my family. That is something I think a lot of folks around here can relate to. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I didn't marry into money or have millions passed down to me. I'm a working-class Missourian who will fight for the average Joe.
...just take it with a grain of salt.
We are already seeing false, negative attacks towards me from my opponents. It is the typical “politics as usual” playbook that voters hate. Currently, there are TV ads being run against me along with mailers attacking me for things I did as a teenager before joining the Marine Corps and getting my life on track. It's shameful that politics has come to this—but you just take it with a grain of salt.
We knew when I announced I was going to run that the political establishment would do everything they can to keep a political outsider out of office. I'm not beholden to the lobbyist or special interest. That being said, it is not easy to walk into the living room and see my boys watching an attack ad on their father, but they are tough. I wish my opponents would focus on why they are running instead of attacking me. It seems they may just be trying to blur their own performance records.
Even though 573 Magazine is non-political, we wish Josh and his family the best in his pursuit of a state senate seat. I am certain that if elected, Josh will lead with his heart and fairness. That may sound corny, but that’s my story and I’m standing by it.
So find your passion and get out there!