A self-proclaimed “Navy brat,” selfless service and love of country aren’t just values that were displayed in the home of Dana McKelvain as a child, but actions she now puts into practice every day.
Born in the town of Norfolk, Virginia, McKelvain’s family background is the quintessential example of service to the United States Navy.
From an early age, her family called many places home as her father’s career took them as far as North Africa and back to the United States, eventually settling in Florida. However, settling for McKelvain was relative. It was there where she met her husband Burrell McKelvain who also decided to serve a professional career in the Navy, which took her across the world again.
After becoming the proud parents of a son and daughter, and after her husband’s retirement from the Navy, the family finally “settled” at the McKelvain family ranch in Cisco, where she lovingly gained the nickname “the foreigner” from her husband’s deep-rooted Texas family.
“We have loved and flourished in rural Texas,” she stated.
What also began to flourish for McKelvain was an interest in political activism, driven by her pro-life values.
The McKelvains volunteered at Open Door, a pregnancy center in Cisco, and played an instrumental role in helping open a second location for the center in Breckenridge.
It wasn’t long until Wendy Davis and her anti-life filibuster permeated the news in 2013. With little hesitation the McKelvains took off to Austin where they met their state representative, Jim Keffer, as well as Jim and Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life. The pro-life organization helped guide them in the process of actively supporting conservative legislation.
As the next election cycle came around, the McKelvains met the newest candidate running for the Texas House in their district, now-State Rep. Mike Lang (R–Granbury). Impressed by Lang, McKelvain jumped in head first to help his campaign—attending events, posting on Facebook, putting up signs, and block walking.
After Lang’s victory, she caught the “political bug.” She continued helping with campaigns at every level of government, phone-banking for presidential nominee Mitt Romney and—despite supporting U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the primary—volunteering for the Trump campaign during the general election.
Since then, McKelvain has been actively involved in her county’s Republican party, becoming a precinct chair and attending the Republican State Convention. She has also helped recruit Republican activists in neighboring counties and been an active member of the Texas Torchbearers, a program she says has helped empower her with resources to review legislation and get more people involved in conservative causes.
“I am involved because I love America and Texas in particular. I want my children and especially my grandchildren to grow up in a conservative Christian America, where honesty, hard work, and integrity prevail, at least most of the time. God has blessed my family, and both Burrell and I feel it is our time to give back with our time and financial resources. We are not wealthy in a financial sense, but we are blessed with wealth in the things that count most for eternity. The Lord has blessed us to share His blessings,” says McKelvain.
Her goal is to get others involved—first locally, then statewide, then nationally. She says this means getting involved in your local school board, joining conservative groups on Facebook, or reaching out to organizations that provide resources to taxpayers. That’s why she is actively involved with organizations like Empower Texans, Texas Right to Life, and Texas Values.
“Most people are frustrated but do not know what to do or where to start. I invite them, pick them up, introduce them, give them a small job, and “empower” them to be part of the solution for America!”
While volunteering for political causes is an integral part of McKelvain’s life, she continues to serve in other areas too. Having finished her professional nursing career, she actively serves in her church as a Sunday school teacher and volunteers with the local humane society. She also enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, kayaking on Possum Kingdom Lake, and gardening.