In Recognition of Raymond E. Cook of the First Special Service Forceby Representative Richard E. Neal
Posted on 2015-02-10
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to
recognize the tremendous service of Raymond E. Cook of Brimfield,
Massachusetts who received the Congressional Gold Medal along with his
comrades of the First Special Service Force on February 3, 2015.
The First Special Service Force was an elite military unit during World War II comprised of volunteers from the United States and Canada. This unit was specifically trained to fight behind enemy lines in the most inhospitable conditions. They distinguished themselves on multiple occasions, most notably for their critical role in Allied victories in Italy, North Africa, southern France, and Anzio Beach. The unit became known as the ``Black Devils'' because they would blacken their faces for nighttime missions.
Raymond served as an United States Army Ranger before joining the First Special Service Force in early 1944 and remained with them until the unit was disbanded at the end of that year. Raymond continued to serve in the Army until he was honorably discharged in October 1945. During his tour of service, Raymond was awarded two Purple Hearts for the injuries he sustained during combat.
Mr. Speaker, Raymond Cook fought courageously for the ideals of freedom and peace that our nation holds dear. I want to thank him for his service and congratulate him on receiving the highest award that Congress can bestow.