Derrick Van Orden is an American patriot, retired Navy SEAL, husband, father, grandfather, and Christian. He met and married his wife, Sara Jane over 27 years ago. They live on a small hobby farm in Hager City, Wisconsin.
Derrick and his brother were raised in rural poverty by their beloved mother, Carol, who taught them the importance of hard work and self-reliance. She was a fiery Irish farm girl who also taught them to speak plainly and never back down from a just fight.
Derrick’s journey of public service started when he joined the Navy at the age of 18. He had the honor to serve our great nation for 26 years. He retired as a Navy SEAL Senior Chief with 5 combat deployments and several others to troubled areas in the world.
His first combat deployment was to Bosnia Herzegovina immediately following the signing of the Dayton Accords. During this time, he came to understand how truly unique and wonderful America is, and why She is not only worth emulating, but protecting.
Derrick continued his service with multiple combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, he served in the Horn of Africa, Asia, Europe, and South and Central America.
During his tour in Europe in 2012, under the Obama administration, he was responsible for planning Special Operations contingency operations for the European Continent.
This is where he learned that when America has ineffectual leaders, Americans pay the price for this lack of strength. The direct result of this was the tragic killing of his former teammate Ty Woods and fellow SEAL Glen Doherty during the terrorist attack on the embassy annex in Benghazi, Libya.
Derrick also became involved in acting during his military service when he starred in the motion picture Act of Valor. He continued his acting career and appeared in two more films. Derrick is also a best-selling author of the book A Book of Man: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood.
After retirement, Derrick utilized his leadership skills in the private sector consulting with Fortune 500 companies until he and Sara retired to their farm.
Wanting to give back to the village that had been so kind to them, Derrick and Sara decided to reopen the village cafe. This led to a two-year adventure culminating with the reestablishment of the Butternut Cafe as a gathering place for friends and family.
Following this, Derrick decided that in order to pursue his love of learning and America, he would attend law school.
And then, December 18th happened.
This was the day that Ron Kind, the Democrat who represents our district, along with the Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for purely political reasons.
After this, Derrick decided, enough is enough.
He was called back into public service, this time as a candidate for Congress in the 3rd District of his beloved State of Wisconsin.