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Richard H.
Republican NY 22

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  • Honoring Sgt Kyle Clifton on Earning the U.s. Army Engineer Association’s De Fleury Medal

    by Representative Richard L. Hanna

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    HANNA of new york in the house of representatives Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Mr. HANNA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate SGT Kyle Clifton on being presented with the U.S. Army Engineer Association's prestigious de Fleury Medal. The de Fleury Medal is awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers to honor those individuals who have provided significant contributions to Army Engineering. Since 1779, the de Fleury Medal has held a special place in the ranks of our service engineers for the values that one must demonstrate in order to be deemed worthy of its receipt.



    While this medal is certainly a testament to the valor and professionalism possessed and exhibited by SGT Clifton, it is also a natural tribute to SGT Clifton's distinguished service career with the Army Reserve. As the medal itself is inscribed, this is ``a memorial and reward for courage and boldness,'' and perhaps more than that it is a physical accolade of the thanks that his community, his fellow Reservists, and his nation have for the service and sacrifices he has devoted to the defense of the United States of America. In addition to the de Fleury Medal, SGT Clifton's long list of awards also includes the Bronze Star with Valor, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. These honors have been bestowed upon SGT Clifton for his proven expertise in service efforts including ground clearance missions and professionalism while serving on the front line of duty. Throughout his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, SGT Clifton proved to be an asset for our Army in holding positions, exhibiting versatility within his vehicle command, clearing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and demonstrating exceptional instincts and tactics in the midst of contact fire.

    Last year, SGT Clifton's truck was struck by an IED while involved in a supply route clearing mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This cruel attack seriously injured SGT Clifton and claimed the lives of his three brothers in arms who were in the truck with him: SSG Dain Venne; SGT Brett Gornewicz; and SPC Ryan Jayne. Upon his arrival at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, I had the opportunity to personally visit with SGT Clifton and his wife. On that day and in the days since then, I have been continuously impressed by the progress that SGT Clifton has made in his physical recovery and the modesty that he has shown. SGT Clifton exhibits daily the traits of bravery, resolve, and a genuine desire to selflessly serve our nation that exemplify the very best of our troops.

    While every soldier's experiences are unique, the story of SGT Clifton, SSG Venne, SGT Gornewicz, and SPC Jayne shares aspects with far too many others that have paid a personal price in their efforts to counter the challenges of the modem battlefield. IEDs are the leading cause of casualties for American servicemembers and the leading cause of injuries afflicting our veterans. In 2012 alone, 104 American troops were killed and 1,744 were wounded by these indiscriminate weapons. SGT Clifton is just one of the more than 51,000 service members who have been wounded in action in our engagements since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. With these figures in mind, Mr. Speaker, I ask that this body join me in continuing to explore and support ways to reduce the prevalence of these incidents.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleges to join me in congratulating SGT Clifton on being awarded the Steel de Fleury Medal. I express my utmost gratitude to him and all of our servicemembers and veterans for their valiant service and sacrifices, as well as to all of the families and communities who make up the invaluable foundation of support for these men and women.

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