CHARLESTON, WV – Greek-born Andrew Palmer brings a colorful background to his new role as sergeant-at-arms in the State Senate, Kenny Kemp of Gazette-Mail writes.
He’s an avid deep-sea diver and worked in security in Afghanistan and Greece. In Greece, he operated his own security firm at Platanis, a popular tourist resort.
He looks the part, the new part, a newly defined role for sergeant-at-arms in the West Virginia Senate.
In January 2016, he arrived in Charleston from Greece as the Senate’s assistant sergeant-at-arms. This year, he replaced retiring sergeant-at-arms Howard Wellman, according to Gazette-Mail.
“I’m from Crete, Greece, a small island, about 700,000 population. My father was in the Navy stationed at NSA Souda Bay.
“I was a preemie, six months and two days. My father decided he’d try to get me in a military hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. On the transport, they forgot to turn on the air to the incubator. The incubator was cracked, so I did take some air, but it was polluted. It messed up my lungs and detached my eye. I had three surgeries to put my eye back in.
“In Greece, it is mandatory to go to the army, so I joined the Fifth Ranger Division. I was sent to Rhodes, an island on the border of Greece and Turkey. They detached us for two weeks and we got sent to Afghanistan.
“Historically, the sergeant-at-arms position in the Senate is an honor position given to retired senators, police officers, delegates. It wasn’t actually asked of the sergeant of arms to do security work, but all that was changing,” Palmer says to the Charleston newspaper.
Read the full interview at the Gazette-Mail.