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Tribute To Private First Class Brandon M. Styer, U.S. Army, Of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Tribute To Private First Class Brandon M. Styer, U.S. Army, Of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember and honor Private First Class Brandon M. Styer of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

On October 15 of this year, Brandon lost his life from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

Brandon exhibited a willingness and enthusiasm to serve and defend his country by joining the United States Army. He understood what it means to live a life with purpose. He served a cause greater than himself. He served the cause of liberty. He gave his life so that we might be safer.

Brandon told his father that he loved the camaraderie and excitement of serving in the Army. He enlisted just last year, his senior year at Conestoga Valley High School. Upon graduation, Brandon completed his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Fort Benning, Georgia. He then was transferred to Fort Carson, Colorado, for additional training.

In March of 2009, Brandon deployed to Iraq for 7 weeks before being transferred to Afghanistan. Assigned to the 569th Mobility Augmentation Company, Fourth Engineer Battalion as a combat engineer, Brandon worked to dismantle, remove, and destroy improvised explosive devices. The 569th MAC Company has a storied history of participating in campaigns in World War II and Vietnam and, more recently, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. It is entirely fitting that Brandon joined their ranks.

As an exceptional young man, Brandon was determined to serve our country and keep his fellow soldiers safe from roadside bombs. It is tragic that one of these bombs claimed his life.

Brandon was also a noble and selfless friend and family man, a compassionate son, brother, and uncle. He leaves behind a family proud of all that he accomplished throughout his distinguished life and career in the military. His valor and service cost him his life, but his sacrifice will live on forever among the many dedicated heroes this Nation has sent abroad to defend freedom.

Brandon earned a number of awards throughout his brief career in the Army, which demonstrates his professionalism and his outstanding ability as a soldier. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and Bar, and the Weapons Qualification Badge.

Posthumously, Brandon received the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

May God grant to Brandon's family the peace that surpasses all understanding. Our prayers and most heartfelt gratitude go out to them, and I offer them my deepest condolences.

I am humbled by the dedicated service and sacrifice of their loved one.

Brandon joins the revered ranks of the many thousands of men and women throughout American history who have gone before him in battle to secure the freedom of the people of United States of America and people around the world.

He is an inspiration to us all.

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