Announcing Recipients of the 2013 Congressional Veteran Commendation for the Third District of Texasby Representative Sam Johnson
Posted on 2013-12-16
in the house of representatives
Monday, December 16, 2013
Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to honor
fourteen distinguished military veterans, community servants, and
American patriots who call the Third District of Texas home. All
faithfully answered the call of duty and to place service above self
for the sake of our great nation. Each one leaves a legacy to be
remembered, for future generations to follow, a legacy of bravery,
loyalty, dedication, and sacrifice. For their selfless service, bold
leadership, and undying commitment for their neighbor and nation, the
following individual has been selected as a recipient of the third
annual Congressional Veteran Commendation:
Colonel Dan Prather served in the United States Army from 1963 to
1993. After participating in ROTC at West Texas State University, Mr.
Prather was commissioned in the U.S. Army, beginning his military
career at Fort Hood. As a company commander and aide de camp to Major
General George Ruhlen, he earned his Ranger tab to improve on his
infantry skills. During his two tours of Vietnam, he earned the Silver
Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat Valor, and Bronze Oak
Leaf Cluster, along with numerous other medals.
As seen from his decorations, Mr. Prather demonstrated countless moments of valor, loyalty, and leadership. One exemplary moment was his decision to change daytime patrols of the Viet Cong to nighttime patrols. The ``Rat Patrol,'' as he called it, was instantly successful, capturing weapons, mines, and grenades while neutralizing 34 enemy soldiers, all within the first month of operation. In fact, Mr. Prather's tactical strategy proved so effective that other U.S. Infantries adopted his nighttime model to high levels of success. Perhaps even more impressive than his tactical instincts is under his command, he lost not one soldier's life through both of his tours in Vietnam. That's remarkable leadership.
To quote a man who served in Prather's battalion at Fort Polk, who later became a General, ``What a great soldier, leader, and commander Dan Prather was. In my view, he was the best of all . . . whenever I faced tough situations as a commander, I often thought of how he would have handled it.'' After his military career, his dedication to service never waned. He served as a City Alderman for two terms in Madison, Mississippi, where he created local community improvement and infrastructure projects. When a horrific flood hit the town, he hopped right in his truck with his chain saw to help homeowners clear away rubble and start rebuilding. That's the active, selfless and relentless leadership for which he will be remembered.
Colonel Dan Prather, let me both thank and congratulate you on your exceptional service to our country and our community both past and present. It is my pleasure to award you the 2013 Congressional Veteran Commendation for the Third District of Texas.