Honoring Sergeant Theodore Travis, Sr.by Representative Brian Higgins
Posted on 2015-12-10
of new york
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today to pay tribute to
Sergeant Theodore Travis, Sr., a man committed to duty and family, who
lost his life in service to this nation.
A Niagara Falls, New York native, Theodore Travis chose active-duty to support his young family after serving in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was a member of an elite team, the 101st Airborne--a Screaming Eagle and initially traveled to Fort Campbell, leaving behind his wife, high school sweetheart Cynthia, and two young sons, Theodore Jr. and Stefan. Sergeant Travis left the United States with his unit on an assignment to aid peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel.
Following their mission, Sergeant Travis and his comrades boarded a plane in high spirits and with great anticipation of returning to their families for Christmas. Tragically they never made it home. On December 12th, 1985, Arrow Air Flight 1285, carrying homeward bound members of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, crashed in Gander, Newfoundland. On that day 248 members of the 101st Airborne Division, including Sergeant Travis, were killed in the worst air disaster in U.S. military history.
This year, as we recognize the 30th anniversary of this disaster, family, friends and the community will gather at New Hope Baptist Church in Niagara Falls to remember Sergeant Travis, known to all as a ``giver.'' He gave help to his community, gave his faith to the church, gave his love to his wife and children, and gave himself in service to the military in defense of this country, in the name of peace abroad, and in hopes of giving his family a better life.
So today, on behalf of a grateful nation, with a heavy heart we remember Sergeant Theodore Travis, Sr., who in selfless service to the United States of America, gave until he could give no more. Sergeant Travis, his family, and the others who lost their lives on Flight 1285 will be forever remembered for the great sacrifices they have made.