Honoring the Lives of Three Navy Sailorsby Representative Sam Farr
Posted on 2014-01-16
FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the lives of the Navy
sailors who were tragically killed in last
week's helicopter crash off the coast of Virginia. The crash touched my
office in a personal way.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Andrew Collins was one of the three sailors who lost his life in that crash. He is the brother of one of my staffers, Morgan. My entire staff and I shared her grief as we received the news at work in our office.
Brian was 25 years old. He was born and raised in Truckee, California, and was a graduate of Truckee High School. He was an avid skier, who first strapped on his first pair of skis at the age of 2. He loved to fly down the mountains of California, bouncing in and out of the trees. After high school, Brian briefly attended trade school before deciding to enlist in the military. It was in the Navy that he found his calling.
Brian was a member of the Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron. Those teams patrol the waters to locate and destroy sea-based mines that could harm Navy vessels. Brian loved that mission. He enjoyed jumping out of helicopters and into the water as the team's primary rescue swimmer. It was during his service that he married his wife, Cheyenne. The young couple just celebrated their 1-year anniversary and had bought their first home. They were starting their life together and still had so much to experience. Cheyenne said: ``We just scratched the surface.'' I will never have the fortune of meeting Brian. However, I feel honored to have gotten to know him through the memories shared by the people he loved. There are few words that can comfort his family and friends in their loss. All I can offer is a sincere and humble ``thank you.'' Thank you for your service.
Thank you for sharing Brian's story, Cheyenne.
On behalf of all Americans, thank you to all of the military men and women in service.
I ask that this House join me in a moment of silence in honor of the life of Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Andrew Collins and in honor of his two fellow crewmembers who lost their lives in that crash, Lieutenant Sean Snyder and Lieutenant Wesley Van Dorn.