Honoring Our Armed Forcesby Senator Patrick J. Toomey
Posted on 2014-01-08
TOOMEY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague Senator Casey for
organizing this brief tribute that is so much deserved by the
servicemembers we are going to be acknowledging in a few minutes.
I would like to begin by extending my deepest condolences to the families, friends, loved ones of these true Pennsylvania heroes and the lives that they led and the cause for which they died. Those men represent all that is great about this great country.
Some enlisted right after graduating from high school. During those very tough and grueling days and weeks in basic training, I suspect they never heard of the places in Afghanistan where they would make this sacrifice.
These Pennsylvanians, of course, join a long list of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Coast Guard members who have given their lives for this country, to include those who gave their lives in World War II, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, of course the ongoing war against violent radical Islamists all around the world.
It is no accident that Pennsylvania has suffered so heavily in this conflict, as it has in every other conflict in our Nation's history. I think it is because in the towns across Pennsylvania, towns and cities such as Tafford and Mohnton, there are certain values that are deeply rooted in those communities: importance of family, importance of faith, the importance of serving this Nation. There is a deep conviction that freedom is worth defending, and a belief that a cause worth fighting for is not just someone else's responsibility. These are the values that have helped shape these service members, their families, their churches, their houses of worship, and their communities. These values are exemplified in the lives of our fallen who will forever be honored by our great Commonwealth for their service to this country.
I will begin reading the names of the men who made the supreme sacrifice for freedom last year in this conflict, and Senator Casey will complete the list: CWO Matthew Paul Ruffner, U.S. Army, Tafford; CWO Jarett Michael Yoder, U.S. Army, Mohnton; SSG Marek Soja, U.S. Army, Philadelphia.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.