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Gregg H.
Republican MS 3

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  • Honoring Specialist Terry K.D. ``Dantez’’ Gordon

    by Representative Gregg Harper

    Posted on 2014-01-15

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    HARPER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a great American hero, Specialist Terry K.D. ``Dantez'' Gordon, who was among six U.S. soldiers who passed away due to wounds suffered when their Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter went down in Afghanistan's Zabul region on December 17, 2013.

    Specialist Gordon was born in Shubuta, Mississippi, on September 21, 1991. After graduating from Quitman High School, Gordon enlisted in the Army in the summer of 2011, fulfilling his basic training requirements at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He then went on to complete his advanced individual training at Fort Lee, Virginia, where he became a generator mechanic.

    Dantez was assigned to Echo Troop, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Riley, Kansas. He was later trained as a door gunner and attached to Bravo Company, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment. There, Specialist Gordon was tasked with firing and maintaining manually directed armament during missions, protecting the helicopters' crew members and passengers throughout the deployment to Afghanistan.

    {time} 1115 Dantez Gordon loved helicopters. He knew very early on that he was meant for the Army because that is where he could fly in a Black Hawk.

    His family said they were surprised at first that he wasn't going into the Marine Corps like his father, but it became quite apparent that his interests were centered in going up in a helicopter. His family members were nervous, yet they realized that he loved what he was doing and he was not afraid.

    Dantez loved his family, his friends and his country. He was fortunate in that he loved what he was assigned to do, and he would talk about it any chance he got when he came home on leave with anyone who would listen.

    Specialist Gordon is remembered by those closest to him as always being happy, especially when he was outdoors or playing baseball. He was a practical joker, and he loved to make people laugh.

    His family and his community saw him as an all-around, very devoted, humble, smart, and respectable young man who lost his life way too soon. He lost his life fighting for our families and for our country, and for this, our country, and particularly, the State of Mississippi, will be forever grateful.

    ``Like ripples in the water,'' his aunt said, ``Dantez Gordon affected people he may have never even met,'' adding that the world is a better place because he was there.

    In an article that described the moment when Specialist Gordon's flag-draped coffin was taken off the plane at Key Field in Meridian, Mississippi, on his final journey home, a family member observed: ``As they unloaded him off the plane, the sun peeked through the cloudy gray sky, and as they put him into the hearse, the clouds closed back up.'' It was as if the sky opened up to pay its final respects to its beloved native Mississippi son.

    Specialist Gordon's awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Ribbon, the Afghan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge and the Aviation Badge.

    Specialist Gordon was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star by executive order for meritorious service from August 13, 2013, until December 17, 2013, upon which no greater honor can be demonstrated than by this ultimate sacrifice. He will always be remembered for these actions.

    Dantez Gordon is survived by his parents, Terry W. Gordon of Pachuta, Mississippi, and Sabina R. Edwards of Shubuta, Mississippi; as well as his sister, Terruna Gordon; stepfather, David Edwards; and two half brothers, David Edwards and William Edwards.

    I was so moved at his funeral service to see what was really a celebration of his life.

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to leave you with a quote from Dantez's father: ``Dantez was my hero long before joining the military, but now he's America's hero.'' How true that statement is. Dantez's love for his country and his dedication to protecting our freedoms took him from Shubuta, Mississippi, to Afghanistan. Christ said in John 15:13: ``Greater love hath no man than he that give his life for another.'' For his courage and final sacrifice, he will never be forgotten. Thank you for this opportunity to place focus on a true American hero.


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