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Tribute to Our Military Veterans

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. I thank the gentleman, and I thank the gentleman for his service.

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk first here about a fellow Screaming Eagle, a fellow member of the 101st Airborne Division, who was wounded in action, Sergeant Carl Moore, III, from Bigelow, Arkansas, in the Second Congressional District, my district.

Sergeant Moore in early June of this year was wounded while on patrol in Afghanistan. A bullet struck him under his arm, puncturing one of his lungs and grazing his spine.

I pray for Carl's speedy recovery so he can get back to enjoying the things that he loves. My thoughts go out to his parents, Carl and Teresa of Conway, Arkansas, also in my district, and his wife, Heather, and their 4-year-old daughter, Addison.

This is just one example of the type of service that we should all be thankful for, and tonight I want to thank Sergeant Carl Moore for his service and for his sacrifice, and for his family's sacrifice.

When I think about all the vets who have impacted my life personally, it is a list that is too long to read, and they have impacted me in so many ways.

I often think of my grandfather who served in World War I in France in 1918. I never met my grandfather on my mother's side. He died in 1966, just 2 years before I was born, but he was in the Army. He processed through Camp Pike in Little Rock, Arkansas, where I did a lot of Reserve duty. I often thought of him when I was there. I went to basic at Fort Lee in Virginia, and come to find out, that is where he went. He went to Fort Lee before he went to France in 1918, and I thank him for his service.

I also want to mention one of our famous vets in closing, one of our most famous vets from the Second Congressional District of Arkansas, and that is Nick Bacon. We recently were able to name a post office after Nick Bacon. He is a Medal of Honor winner. He passed away recently. He was born in Caraway, Arkansas, in 1945. He enlisted in 1963 at age 17. The story goes that he was too young to enlist, so he just sort of fudged a little bit on the age. He was stationed in Germany for awhile, did a tour in Vietnam. He was wounded three times during his first tour in Vietnam when the helicopter he rode in collided with another, and all were killed but Bacon and one other. So he volunteered for a second tour in Vietnam because that wasn't enough. I want to read this little paragraph that talks about what happened that led to him being awarded the Medal of Honor.

On August 16, 1968, while leading a squad in Bravo Company's 1st Platoon, in an operation, Bacon and his unit came under fire from an enemy position. He personally destroyed the position with hand grenades, but the platoon leader was wounded on open ground. Bacon assumed command, led the platoon in destroying still more enemy emplacements. The 3rd Platoon lost its leader, and Bacon took command of that platoon as well and led both platoons against the remaining enemy positions. During the evacuation of the wounded, Bacon climbed the side of a nearby tank to gain vantage point and direct fire into enemy positions, despite being exposed to enemy fire himself. He was personally credited with killing at least four enemy soldiers and destroying an antitank gun. For his actions in this battle, Bacon received the Medal of Honor, formally presented to him by President Richard Nixon during a 1969 White House ceremony.

He earned multiple awards within the military for various accomplishments. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with two Valor devices, and two Purple Hearts.

Then he went back to Arkansas and years later served as the director of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and was reappointed by Governor Mike Huckabee in that position, and he served until February 2005.

We lost Nick in 2010, but he is a shining example of the type of selfless service that veterans often give, demonstrate for their country, and I just want to say thank you to Nick Bacon and the many veterans that he represents, the thousands of veterans from Arkansas that he represents.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Ohio for putting this together. A lot of times we come down here and debate a lot of policy issues, but I think it is the right thing to do, to take this time tonight to honor our veterans.


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