Overcoming Tragedy at The Great Place
Click here or on the image below to view my statement on last week's Fort Hood tragedy.
On Thursday, tragedy struck at Fort Hood when floodwaters killed nine soldiers and injured three more during a training exercise. As a U.S. Congressman for Fort Hood, the Great Place, as it is commonly called, has become my family. I know the community very well, and I am honored to represent its soldiers and their families in Washington. Unfortunately, this is not the first tragedy to take place at Fort Hood in recent memory. I can tell you, the resilience of this community has been tested before, and they have time and again overcome every challenge thrown their way. While the loss of these brave men and women has saddened me beyond words, I am certain we will recover. I look forward to working with Fort Hood leadership to learn how we can ensure the safety of our soldiers who are stationed there.
On Monday, we remembered those young men who so bravely stormed the beaches of Normandy to free our European friends from tyranny. Thousands of Americans and our allies gave their lives to pave the way for the liberation of France, Europe and the freedom of oppressed people whom they would never meet. They are real heroes. We are thankful for them, and their story will always live on.
Honoring the Fallen
This Memorial Day I visited with the Cleburne community and spoke at the Johnson County Memorial Day Service:
"I want to start by thanking Dr. Robert Kelley and you all for inviting me here to speak to you on this Memorial Day.
"For many Americans, Memorial Day means the beginning of summer. It’s a holiday marked by barbeque, baseball and apple pie.
"While children are beginning their summer vacations, parents are planning family trips.
"The pools are open.
"While it is true that Memorial Day brings us a sense of togetherness, let us not lose sight of its true purpose.
"Today, we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Those who protected the freedoms we take for granted.
"We remember those who died in order for the rest of us to continue our lives without interruption every single day.
"I am talking about the men and women, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, who answered our nation’s highest calling.
"Today’s service members voluntarily fight against those who wish to do us harm.
"They‘ve fought in the hills of Afghanistan and the deserts in Iraq. But they’ve also defended freedom and liberty in the Pacific, the Atlantic, Asia and Europe.
"The men and women we celebrate today represent the most elite protectors of the United States.
"In a time when our nation is so desperately searching for heroes, these brave souls have filled that void.
"One of the most rewarding parts of my job is that I represent Fort Hood in the U.S. Congress, and I am honored to do so.
"After getting to know that community well over the past few years, I can tell you firsthand that those soldiers and their loved ones are the bravest in the world.
"They’re resilient, and they’re an inspiration to me.
"What makes this country so great is that we have the opportunity to do anything we put our minds to.
"But the only reason we’re free to do so is because someone put on a uniform and put their life on the line to protect us against those who wish to take those opportunities away.
"All of our service members make sacrifices. They miss Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays and births.
"Sometimes they never make it home.
"So when we enjoy that neighborhood cookout or baseball game think of the men and women who allowed that to happen.
"Today I challenge you to find a veteran, shake their hand, and tell them exactly how much their sacrifice means to you. Tell them you love them.
"To the families and friends here today whose loved ones perished in uniform I am eternally grateful for their service.
"They are the men and women who gave up they’re today so we could have our tomorrow. Remember that.
"May God bless the elite protectors of the United States this Memorial Day."
Member of Congress