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John B.
Republican AR

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  • Honoring Lieutenant Colonel Steve Gray, Retired

    by Senator John Boozman

    Posted on 2015-01-29

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    BOOZMAN. Mr. President, I wish to take a few moments to honor a true champion of veterans, retired Lt. Col. Steve Gray, who is set to retire from public service at the end of this month after nearly 16 years of helping his fellow veterans in Arkansas.

    Since I came to Washington 13 years ago, Steve has served on my staff advocating for the needs of servicemembers and veterans across the Nation.

    He has been a trusted aide whose reputation in Arkansas's veterans community is second to none. His passion and advocacy has resulted in better service offerings at veterans facilities across Arkansas. It is reflected in the lives that he has helped make better by solving an individual's problems at the VA.

    If Steve was able to track down military medals a veteran earned but never received, those medals weren't just dropped in the mail. Steve would crisscross the State, personally delivering them, dressed in his Air Force blues, and present them with the stories of the veteran's time in service.

    A veteran himself, Steve served honorably in the Air Force as a tactical air controller, with assignments as director of operations and commander in Virginia, Vietnam, California, Utah, Florida, Colorado, Kansas, and Iceland.

    He also served as national director for the National Guard recruiting, retention, and advertising at the Pentagon. His final assignment before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel was in Germany where he served as an adviser to the commander and chief of the Air Force in Europe.

    Along with the work he does in an official capacity, Steve is active in a number of veterans service organizations, including the American Legion and the Wounded Warrior Program.

    He has served as vice president of the Arkansas Council of Military Officers Association of America.

    I am excited for Steve as he embarks on the next chapter of his life, but we are losing a fantastic advocate for Arkansas veterans. However, I know that my staff will continue to provide the best possible service to Arkansas's veterans as we have the blueprint on how to do it right, thanks to Steve. He has literally set the gold standard on how to deliver for veterans.

    I know also that in retirement Steve does not mean to fade from sight. Steve is not the slowing-down type of personality. Certainly he will take some time to travel with his wife Sharon in their retired life. But along with the relaxation, Steve has grand plans to travel the country singing at veterans retirement homes, and he intends to stay active with the Arkansas Veterans Coalition. This is his calling, his passion, and I am quite certain Steve will continue to work with the veterans community for years to come.

    Thank you, Steve, for your service in uniform, your dedication to your fellow veterans, and most of all thank you for your friendship.

    I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rounds). The senior Senator from South Dakota.


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