Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I stand today to pay tribute to a great American and a great Oklahoman. Gene Boyt was a member of our Nation's "Greatest Generation" and served his country during World War II in the United States Army. He died at the age of eighty-six in Chickasha, OK.
After being assigned to the Philippines as a lieutenant in the Engineering Corps, he was taken captive by the Japanese on April 9, 1942. As a prisoner, he was forced to march 90 miles in 6 days in what has become known as the Bataan Death March. The prisoners marched without food or water, and many were executed or died along the way from exhaustion and dehydration. After surviving the grueling journey, Lieutenant Boyt spent 3½ years in Japanese prisons.
Gene Boyt knew what persecution meant. He knew what it meant to stand up for the cause of freedom, for the honor and integrity of the United States. Gene Boyt knew what it meant to defend this country from enemies determined to destroy it. He knew what it meant to suffer for what he believed.
I stand today proud to be an American because men like Gene Boyt lived and died protecting that right. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, three Presidential Citations, the Philippines's Presidential Citation Medal, and the Oklahoma Medal of Valor. He deserves to be honored once again today on the Senate floor.
Today I stand in tribute to one of Oklahoma's favorite sons, a great American hero and devoted family man. Gene Boyt sacrificed everything for his country, and I am sure that his family is proud of this great man, and the legacy he left behind. The thoughts and prayers of a grateful Nation are with them during this difficult time.