Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw to speak in Odessa

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, wants to kick start a conversation about character and American values.

Crenshaw, a retired lieutenant commander who served in the U.S. Navy SEALS for 10 years, is scheduled to speak at an event on Thursday hosted by the Ector County Republican Women at the Odessa Country Club.

He said talking points for the speaking engagement might include a discussion on the future of American character, “who we want to be as a country” and how those principles lead to the policies implemented in government.

ECRW President Sherry Hurt said she was impressed by Crenshaw’s response when handling a challenging situation last November and wanted others to be able to meet someone who has continually overcome obstacles with grace.

Last year, Crenshaw was referenced in a “Saturday Night Live” segment by cast member Pete Davidson. Davidson gave his first impression of a handful of midterm candidates, which included mocking the appearance of Crenshaw, who lost his right eye in an improvised explosive device blast while serving in Afghanistan.

Hurt said the congressman kept his composure after the skit aired. Crenshaw was invited by SNL to appear on the show afterward and accepted an apology directly from Davidson.

Crenshaw used the broadcasted moment to convey a message of unity between those who have served in the armed forces and civilians for Veterans’ Day.

“I did not want to give in to your typical outrage culture,” Crenshaw said. “I think our society is starting to value outrage and this notion that the highest status to achieve is aggrieved victim. It was really a perfect opportunity to push that notion aside and say hey I don’t have to be offended and I don’t have to demand apologies from everybody because they slight me in some way.”

The ECRW president said the community has much to learn from Crenshaw’s display of character and his life story.