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Remembering the Hon. C.W. Bill Young

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARTER. I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding.

We can talk about Bill Young all night, a man who came from nothing and grew to be head and shoulders above, champion for America's military. But I think the thing that struck everybody who ever met Bill Young was his humanity. He was just such a kind, gentle, fine man. He cared about every soul he met. He took the time when I was a freshman to meet me and talk to me. I told him I had some interest in appropriations and learning how it worked, and he sat down and talked to me about it. Whenever I had any questions I needed to ask him, he was always very, very informative and very, very kind in explaining things to people, to me and others.

Bill Young was a very special man because he came from very, very meager means and he rose up to a position of power, but you would have never known by his interaction with humanity that he was a man of power in this government because everybody who draws a breath was important to Bill Young. But the most important people were those who served in our armed services.

I wanted to share something which I think is a perfect description of the kind of man Bill Young was. I had the privilege to go on a trip with him to Normandy for an anniversary of that landing on D-day, and on the way we landed in Shannon, Ireland. When we arrived, it just so happened that at least one or two brigades from Fort Hood, Texas, which is in my district, were there, ordinary soldiers and their officers in transit to Afghanistan.

When Bill Young came into the room, ordinary soldiers, as if he were some kind of star that you would see in a rock concert, started moving over to have their picture taken with Chairman Young. Chairman Young at that time was in a wheelchair most of the time. But as he did when he presented his bill on this floor, he stood with every soldier and took a picture. I stood on the periphery of that and listened. He asked about their parents and where were they from and about their deployments and their needs. Just a gentle, kind, friendly man with hundreds of soldiers gathered around him.

I heard one soldier ask another soldier:

Who is that guy? It looks like everybody here wants to have their picture taken.

The other guy said:

I don't know for sure, but the way I understand it, he is the guy who makes sure when we go to battle, we have everything that we need to be victorious.

That is a great statement about a human being and a great statement about the man. He cared about all who serve our Nation, but in particular those who risk their lives on our behalf. In honor of Bill Young, I will always remember that day where soldiers flocked to him just to be seen with Mr. Young.


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