|By Megan Cassella, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
When her father started an insurance business in the '90s, she went to work for him to fix it up. When her son was diagnosed with benign chest tumors when he was a baby, she became a nurse so she could better care for him. And when, after nursing school, she heard that military families weren't getting good health care, she joined the
Once discharged, she moved to
Grant says her decision to run for the
"My mentor in the military, when I was branch chief, said, 'Don't come to me with a problem if you don't have a solution. ? If you haven't thought of a solution, then you haven't thought the problem all the way through,' " Grant said.
"How can we expect any less from our elected representatives?"
The 'military mentality'
Grant was medically discharged in 2012, after tearing a ligament in her ankle during training. Chronic regional pain syndrome has left her with a spinal cord implant for comfort, paid for with veterans benefits. She uses a cane.
Now 39, with her short but decorated military career behind her, she has embarked on what -- if elected -- would be her third career.
She's a long-shot candidate in the crowded Republican primary race, steadily trailing the trio of
But she says her common-sense solutions and belief in the Constitution will help her compete against candidates with more political experience, greater name recognition and deeper pockets.
"She made sure everything was lined up," Ross said. "Even when she was on military leave, she didn't have to answer her phone -- she really didn't -- but she still did.
"When she left (the
Grant credits that to the
"It's gotta be that military mentality: You're my battle buddy. Even when you're no longer that elected official and that next conservative takes your place, you've gotta send them an email or call them up and say, 'If you need anything, I will help you,' " she said.
"We've got to stop acting like we're not on the same group and the same side."
Ross said Grant was a calm, dedicated mentor who led by example: "Whatever she told us to do, she actually did it, too," she said.