She was born in Oklahoma where her father was stationed at the Army base Fort Sill. After he was discharged they moved back to the family farm near Kingsley in northwest Iowa where she grew up. Sandy's parents Dwight and Sally Puttmann raised corn, soybeans and hogs. Her parents laid a solid foundation in her of faith in God, the joy of hard work and discipline, and the necessity of being honest and keeping your word.
She graduated from Kingsley-Pierson High School in 1973 and from UNI in 1977 with a degree in Business Management. Upon graduation she was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and served from 1977-1980. During those years shortly after Vietnam, being in the military was not popular, but she joined because she believed in what her nation stands for, liberty and all the principles the nation was founded upon, and our people were worth defending.
She met her husband Matt Salmon in the Marines and after she was discharged they were married. He was a helicopter pilot. She worked doing taxes until we began having children in 1983. As a wife and mother she learned how important faith in God is, how important life is (including unborn life), and how important strong marriages and families are. She was running a household on one income in a two-income world and navigated it through various job changes and geographic relocations. She did what all households have to do: manage a tight budget, work at setting aside savings, work at staying out of debt, and work at spending no more than they made.
She was happy when my husband had an opportunity to fly the AirCare helicopter for Covenant Hospital in Waterloo and so we moved back to Iowa in 1990. Except for a year and a half in the Des Moines area, She has lived in rural northeast Iowa for 20 years. Her husband transferred into the Iowa Army National Guard and served as the Facility Commander for AASF #2 located at the Waterloo Airport where he retired in May 2011 with 34 years of military service. Among his service was a 7-month tour of duty in Iraq in 2008.
Sandy bore 3 sons and homeschooled them all the way through high school, K-12, graduating the youngest in 2007. They dual-enrolled with Janesville Schools so the boys could play sports. They had a great experience there, full of wonderful memories. Sandy helped run an area homeschool cooperative that provided group educational activities for kids such as gym, choir, drama and speech. I also served as a 4-H leader for 14 years in Black Hawk County.
Sandy was a home educator for 18 years. Home education was a very challenging commitment for her requiring a lot of faith in God and a great deal of love, devotion, discipline, perseverance, energy, and plain old hard work. But it was very enjoyable and rewarding and she am glad they did it and would do it over again. Home education was quite new and unfamiliar in 1989 when she began. It was certainly regarded at that time with skepticism and even with suspicion and in some cases with outright hostility. Suffice it to say, it was certainly not popular at that time. But they did it because they felt it was the right and best thing for them to do. Sandy had the vision and foresight to innovate and do something new, to think outside of the box and try something that was not part of the norm. She also had the courage to be a trailblazer, to step out in front and go against the grain, even in the face of skeptical, sometimes disapproving or scornful, and sometimes angry attitudes from others. All of this took fortitude and stamina. Sandy persistd and epersevered with it until her youngest son graduated. By the time Sandy was finished, it was great to see public attitudes toward homeschooling become more accepting and welcoming as more people became familiar with it. This experience taught her some things about education. She discovered that the more responsibility parents take, the better the education is. That the less bureaucratic regulation and paperwork there is, the more freedom. The more freedom, the more time and energy for teaching there is, and therefore the better the education. All of this is true no matter what the kind of school.
Sandy lives with her husband on an acreage between Janesville and Denver. Currently she partners with my sister and their farmer to manage the family farm in northwest Iowa.
Sandy ran for Iowa House in 2010, but lost in the Republican Primary. But she then served as a legislative clerk in the Iowa State Senate for Bill Dix.
Sandy is active in ministry at her church and in August 2011 she served on a missions team to Uganda and Kenya.
Memberships: church, state homeschool organization (NICHE) , and Farm Bureau. 
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