Search for Casey Grahamby Senator Daniel Sullivan
Posted on 2015-12-18
SULLIVAN. Mr. President, I would like to talk briefly about an
effort that is going on in Alaska right now to try to recover one of
our own, Casey Graham--an Alaskan Native, a patriot, 24 years old, the
son of Steven and Lucy Graham.
He is 24 years old, the son of Steven and Lucy Graham and brother of Cheryl, Michelle, Megan, and Pauline. He is a veteran who served in the Marines and was deployed to serve his country in Afghanistan. He is a young man in the prime of his life.
Casey has been described as smart, hard-working, extremely intelligent, and a shining light for his community, his State, and his country. He lived in Anchorage but was from McGrath, AK. That is about 200 miles from Anchorage on the Upper Kuskokwim River.
About a week ago he was visiting family when he decided to do what most Alaskans do in the winter--go out on a snow machine ride. It is thought that he was on the ice on the river and hit open water. His snow machine and his helmet have been found, but not Casey.
As I speak, the community of McGrath is banding together for the recovery effort. It is a small town--only about 350 people live there-- but it is a town with a huge heart. The community has dropped everything. Every day, dozens--as many as 50 Alaskans have gone out to where they think Casey was on the ice to bring him home. Remember, in Alaska it is cold right now. From December 10 when the search began until now, temperatures have ranged from about 22 degrees below zero to a high of about 16 above zero. There is a heated tent on the ice where volunteers go to warm up and eat lunch before they go back out searching. They eat moose stew mostly and, of course, a lot of salmon. The community is emptying their freezers and making sure all the volunteers are fed.
In the true spirit of Alaska, in the true spirit of Christmas, so many companies and individuals across the great [[Page S8875]] State of Alaska are donating goods, services, airline miles, freight services, food, hand and foot warmers, first-aid kits, cold-weather gear--you name it. Everybody is pitching in to help. It is something that this body and this country should be particularly proud of.
Although I am not surprised by it, Casey's marine brothers have flown in from thousands of miles away, all across the country, to help in the search. They served with him in Afghanistan, and they have now come to Alaska from Texas, Pennsylvania, California, and as far away from Alaska as New York. There are 11 now and more on the way. In the Marines, we don't leave our brothers and sisters behind, and these marines are living up to that ethos.
I am asking for the thoughts and prayers of this body and Americans-- any Americans all across this country who are watching--on this effort. I am asking that we pray to bring Casey home.
Semper fi to him, his father, his sisters, and to those proud marines who are making sure he makes it home.
I yield the floor.
I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.