KSLA Salutes: The Mayor and Major
ATLANTA, Tx. (KSLA) - Travis Ransom is a busy man invested in his community in Northeast Texas.
He is an insurance agent, served as District Director for former Texas State Senator Kevin Eltife, was a delegate to the 2018 Republican State Convention, serves on the Executive Board for the Ark-Tex Council of Governments and is a member and past chairman of the Atlanta Economic Development Corporation — just to name a few.
“I have always been interested in my community,” Ransom said. “I think it’s important to take ownership of your community. When I was in Bosnia for my first deployment as a 21-year-old kid I realized how great we had it in the United States. When I got back to the country and to Northeast Texas I started volunteering at the Lions Club, with the Boy Scouts, the Regional Arts and Humanities Council and wound up very invested in my community. When the opportunity to serve as mayor came — I jumped at the opportunity and have had a good time doing that.”
Ransom has also served as Mayor of Atlanta, Texas since August 2017.
A lifelong Atlanta resident — Ransom says there’s no place like home.
“We are small-town USA,” Ransom said. “Atlanta, Texas is a great place to live and raise a family. We had a massive fire in October of 2019 in our downtown area. You saw the community come together. They brought out food and water for the firefighters. The entire community showed up to our downtown area to make sure people had what they needed."
Ransom is also a 23-year veteran of the Army Reserve. He continues to serve as the Command Sergeant Major for an Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion. He says his appreciation for his community came from his service.
“I graduated high school and like a lot of kids I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible," Ransom said. “I just didn’t know what I had. Whether it was my history teacher or my uncle or my father, everyone I really respected and looked up to had served in the military in some form or fashion. So it felt like the thing to do. It’s a family business. I’ve had someone in my family probably in every major conflict going back to the Revolutionary War. My father served so I felt compelled to serve. He never really pushed me to serve, but I felt compelled to serve. Once I was in, I quickly realized how great it is to serve this country. It’s such a great opportunity to serve. After being all over the world, coming back to Northeast Texas was when it really felt like home.”
Ransom has been called to active duty in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) and will be deploying to Afghanistan as the Battalion Command Sergeant Major with the 321st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion later this fall. OFS is a part of a NATO mission that conducts counterterrorism operations targeting terrorist groups and also trains, advises and assists on missions to build up the local Afghan forces.
He says his community stands behind his service.
“The outpouring of support, the comments on Facebook, I’m just blown away,” Ransom said. “I’ve been trying to read through them all. This community is a very patriotic community. We fly the flag 24/7 here. We have a great Veterans Memorial downtown which I’m particularly proud of because my father helped design that.”
Ransom says he is taking the time before his deployment to make sure his wife and three children and his city will be ok during his absence.
“This is at a really good time because we just passed the city budget so we have all the priorities for the next fiscal year,” Ransom said. “I’ll be back before this time next year. Dean McDuff is our mayor pro tem. He has been on the council for over a decade. He is really sharp on everything in the city. He is our go to for historical knowledge of the city so he is the perfect person to step in and run the city council meetings while I’m gone. We also have a city manager who has been here for right at ten years. He will continue to serve. Atlanta is really thriving in spite of COVID, our sales tax has been up 5% year over year, we’ve dropped the property tax rate slightly. Things are really going well for the city of Atlanta.”
One thing that Ransom wants the community to do is not to take living in Northeast Texas for granted — and America itself.
“American exceptionalism is a real thing," Ransom said. "We don’t have what we have here anywhere else in the world. I think we take that for granted. I think a lot of people take that for granted. While it is important to be well-traveled and learn about other cultures, governments and countries around the world, it is also so important to know and understand how great it is to live in Northeast Texas. Be proud of your community because it really is something special.”
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