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Mr. FLORES. I would like to thank my friend from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) for allowing me a few minutes of his time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an American hero, Brian Bachmann, who served as Precinct 1 Constable of Brazos County, Texas, who was killed in the line of duty on August 13, 2012. Also, with yesterday being the 11th anniversary of 9/11, I also want to recognize first responders all across our country.
As I began to write my reflections for this conversation, which I originally delivered on August 18, the words that kept coming to mind to talk about were the words ``home'' and ``celebration.''
Before proceeding, I want to remind us of the heroes of Texas District 17. Since I was sworn into office on January 5, 2011, the 17th Congressional District of Texas has lost seven military personnel: Sergeant Scott Burgess; Staff Sergeant Bryan Burgess; Sergeant Edward F. Dixon, III; PFC Jesse Dietrich; Lieutenant Colonel David Cabrera; Captain Nathan Anderson; and Lieutenant Colonel Roy Tisdale.
In addition, we have lost two law enforcement personnel during that time, Deputy Sheriff Taylor from Johnson County; and on August 13, we lost Constable Brian Bachmann. In each case, God called home one of his children and heaven has been celebrating since each of those arrivals.
Brian and I met in early 2010 when we were both running for our respective offices. Neither of us had ever run for public office before; and even though we came from different backgrounds, we formed a great friendship that endured the rigors of tough political campaigns.
Following our victories, we remained great friends. Each time we were together at various events, we always picked up our conversations where we had left off at the prior events. Most of the time we teased each other in these conversations.
The last time I talked to Brian was the Thursday before he was called home by God. We were both volunteers at the Brazos Valley Food Bank's Feast of Caring. We started out by teasing each other again. He began saying that I must not be a very good politician because I was already having to run again for office, to which I replied, Oh really, Bachmann? From what I've seen, you're the reason we need term limits.
Following that conversation and fellowship, we went back to cleaning tables and serving food. I never appreciated the fact that I wouldn't see him on this Earth again.
This is the Brian Bachmann that I knew, the friendly and always smiling guy who could care less about anyone's title. He was the person that loved our community and would do anything for it. He was the model public servant. However, and more importantly, he was a servant leader who ultimately modeled the words of Jesus in John 15:13 which state: ``Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.''
I started this conversation by talking about home and celebration. At the end of each week, I jump on a plane and head home from Washington to Texas. That is where I'm happiest. That's where my wife, Gina is. It is close to our sons, our daughter-in-law and our granddaughter. In short, it is the community that I love. I always celebrate those homecomings, and my sense of excitement always builds as the airliner approaches Bryan/College Station.
The same thing happened on the afternoon of August 13. As Brian's situation changed here on Earth, others were preparing his new home. Brian knew this day would come. However, like the rest of us, he didn't know when, where, or how. But because of his relationship with Christ, he knew that he would someday be able to look forward to going to his next home for eternity. God knew all the details about Brian's homecoming, and the celebration started immediately on the afternoon when he left us.
The Apostle Paul reinforces this in 2 Corinthians 5:8, where he says: ``We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.'' This is the same knowledge that all Christians have. We know that when our human life ends, we will move to our eternal home with God.
At that moment, on August 13, Brian instantly heard the voices of those who had gone before him welcoming him home but, more importantly, the One who loved Brian enough to die for him held out his nail-pierced hands, embraced him and said, ``Howdy, Brian. Welcome to your new home.'' Those same hands and arms embrace and comfort Brian's family and all of us here now.
About 20 years ago, Max Lucado wrote a book titled ``The Applause of Heaven.'' I'm going to paraphrase the last few paragraphs of that book, as follows:
You'll be home soon. You may not have noticed it, but you're closer to home than ever before. Each moment is a step taken. Each breath is a page turned. Each day is a mile marker passed, a mountain climbed. You're closer to home than you've ever been.
Just as when my airline flight approaches Bryan/College Station each week, before you know it, your appointed arrival time will come. You'll descend the ramp and enter the city. You'll see the faces that are waiting for you. You'll hear your name spoken by those who love you. And in the back, behind the anxious crowd, the One who would rather die than live without you will remove His pierced hands from His heavenly robe and applaud your arrival.
We should be celebrating Brian's heavenly homecoming here on Earth as well. He is another soldier that fought the good fight and gone home where God has told him, ``Well done, good and faithful servant.''
Brian's parents, Brad and Carmen, his wife, Donna, and his children, Sam, Amanda, Colby and Caitlyn, can all take comfort in Brian's homecoming because we know that the cross of Jesus has won again.
Brian's sacrifice should remind us that we're all here to serve. It is my prayer that Brian's homecoming reminds us of all our human frailties and the shortness of our time here on this Earth. I'm hopeful that all of us will have the type of relationship with Christ that Brian did, so we will have similar homecomings with Him in heaven.
Let me close by asking everyone here to pray for and support the Bachmann family. Please pray for our country during these troubled times. Please pray for our military men and women who sacrifice to protect us abroad, and please pray for our first responders like Brian Bachmann who protect us here at home.
Brian, we celebrate your homecoming.
I again thank the gentleman for yielding.
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