Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Madam Speaker, before I begin, I would like to ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Now, Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I might consume.
As a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, [Page: H2232]
I join Representative Poe and his fellow colleagues from the Lone Star State of Texas in considering H.R. 5517, which renames the postal facility at 7231 FM 1960 in Humble, Texas as the Texas Military Veterans Post Office.
As stated, the measure at hand was first introduced by Congressman Ted Poe on February 28, 2008 and is cosponsored by all members of the Texas congressional delegation. The measure was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where it was considered and passed by voice vote on March 13, 2008.
H.R. 5517 is intended to remember the lives, service and legacy of hundreds of military men and women from the State of Texas who have served or loss their lives in service to our great country. By renaming this particular Humble, Texas post office, H.R. 5517 will set into motion the creation of a living tribute to the sacrifices made by so many of Texas' sons and daughters, who gave their lives in service and honor abroad in order to ensure our protection here at home, an honor befitting the
thousands of military men and women past and present, from every State of the Union that have unselfishly given of themselves in service and in battle for America.
H.R. 5517 will help memorialize the memory of generations of Texas' servicemen and women for years to come by designating the 7231 FM 1960 Humble, Texas postal facility as the Texas Military Veterans Post Office.
Mr. Speaker, I would reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield as much time as he may consume to my distinguished colleague from the State of Texas (Mr. Poe).
(Mr. POE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. POE. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. Appreciate the comments by both sides on this very important piece of legislation.
The Post Office that we wish to name today is in my congressional district, it's in Humble, Texas, and it's a part of Southeast Texas where a great number of people continue to volunteer to be in our United States military.
Texans have always, when called upon by their country to go into service, have met that call with overwhelming numbers. And, in fact, today, serving somewhere in the world in a military uniform, one out of 10 people wearing the American uniform is from the State of Texas.
And it goes all the way back to 1836 when the first Texas veteran by the name of William Barrett Travis came to Texas from the State of South Carolina. He was a young lawyer, 27. And he was passionate about liberty and freedom. And he found himself at a beat-up old Spanish church in Central Texas that we now call the Alamo. The Alamo was over 100 years old at the time that he and 186 other brave Texans defended freedom. They were really from all States in the United States, six foreign countries
as well, many of them, Mr. Speaker, from the State of Tennessee.
And he, like those defenders of the Alamo, were determined to seek liberty for the Republic of Texas. And as we all know, all of those first veterans gave their lives in that word that we praise today, that word of freedom. He was the first veteran that I wish to mention. And I will continue to mention just a few more so we know the importance of naming buildings after these wonderful people who have gone before us.
Of course, in that same struggle, all Texas armies were led by another Tennesseean by the name of Sam Houston. Sam Houston became the general of all Texas forces after the battle of the Alamo. He serves as the unique distinction of the only person in American history being governor of two different states, the governor of Tennessee and the governor of Texas.
But before he became governor of Texas he was president of the Republic of Texas. And because of the fact that on April 21, which we celebrate a week from today, in 1836, General Sam Houston, leading a ragtag army of volunteers, once again from all over the United States, several foreign countries, defeated the enemy, Santa Ana and his overwhelming army at the banks and the marshes of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. After that battle was over with Texas became a Republic and remained a free nation
for over 9 years, and we owe much of that to General Sam, another veteran of Texas.
It's interesting to note that General Sam Houston's last words before he died, he mentioned to his wife 2 words, ``Texas, Texas.'' And then he died as a great military veteran of our State of Texas.
In World War I, there was an individual by the name of Kenneth Myers that served. In 1889 he was born. He joined the Navy in 1917, and he served on the battleship Oklahoma in World War I. And after the ``War to End All Wars'' was over with, he went ahead and became an agricultural expert in the State of Texas. He lived to be 107 before he died and became the third oldest survivor of that ``War to End All Wars,'' World War I.
In World War II there were many great Texans who served, but probably the most notable was a young individual who was a cotton farmer from Farmersville, Texas. Audie Murphy was too little and too small, they said, to join the Marine Corps, so he got into the United States Army, and he fought in the Army in World War II and he served 27 months in combat. He is the most decorated U.S. combat soldier in United States military history. He had received the Medal of Honor, of course the highest U.S.
military award, along with 32 other medals from the United States, five medals from France and one from Belgium.
Audie Murphy symbolizes the great tradition of folks who joined the military, another wonderful veteran from the State of Texas.
A little-known veteran from Texas was an individual by the name of Doris Miller. That was his name, although he was a male, and he didn't even want his friend calling him Dorrie because his name was Doris.
He found himself, on December 7 on the USS West Virginia. He was a cook. Because of his race he was not allowed to be in combat, but when that battleship was attacked, he found himself behind a 50 caliber machine gun and shot down two, maybe three Japanese planes on December 7, 1941. And he was honored later as becoming the first African American to receive the Navy cross because of his heroism on that fateful day, that day of infamy, December 7, 1941.
Doris Miller later died in combat, and he was from the City of Waco, Texas.
A friend of mine who recently died was a Pearl Harbor survivor by the name of Luke Trahan from Beaumont, Texas, served in the United States Navy, a wonderful person and was a symbol of everything that is good and right about the veterans from our great State.
And, of course, having been the son of one of those individuals of the Greatest Generation, my father, Virgil Poe, served in Europe during World War II. He didn't say anything about his service in the United States Army because he went when he was a teenager, and after 50 years, he finally started talking about his service there after he and my mother went to that place in France that we call Normandy, where over 9,000 Americans are buried. He, along with both of my uncles, James Hamilton and
Charles Willis, all three teenagers, served in that great war, World War II.
Also serving in World War II was Oveta Culp Hobby. She was a lawyer, and although she was a lawyer, she found herself in Washington, D.C., and when the war broke out, she became the director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps which was later called and referred to as the Women's Army Corps. She has the distinction of being the highest ranking woman to serve in World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for her contributions in the war effort, becoming the first woman in American
history to receive such award.
We're proud of the fact that Admiral Chester Nimitz is from Fredericksburg, Texas. Fredericksburg, Mr. Speaker, is a landlocked place. It's a long way from water. It is in the central part of the Hill Country of Texas; but Admiral Nimitz ended up being in the United States Navy, and during World War II, he was the Commander in Chief of all Pacific naval forces for the United States and Allied forces where he served with distinction. Even a high school is named for him in my congressional district.
Sometimes we forget the fact that Dwight David Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas, in 1890; although he later moved to Kansas, and he served in World War II as a 5-star general in the Army, also being the first Allied commander in all of Europe, a great distinction for him.
In 1943, a young man was commissioned as a teenager in the United States Naval Reserves, and he was assigned to the United States Ship San Jacinto; and on this ship he was assigned to become a pilot for the TMB Avengers. And while piloting one such mission in Chi Chi Jima off the Japanese coast, this individual was shot down and rescued later by a submarine in the area. This individual flew 58 combat missions. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and the USS San Jacinto
was awarded the Presidental Unit Citation. That individual, of course, was former President of the United States, George H.W. Bush.
Mr. Speaker, there were many others who have served in the history of the State of Texas, but 12 individuals were remarkable in that these individuals, 12 brothers, these Band of Brothers, from a little town of Dayton, Texas, named the Ripkowsky brothers, all served in World War II and Korea. They served in all branches of the service. They served all over the United States and in foreign countries in combat, and after the wars were over, all 12 of them had the unique history of returning home
to Dayton, Texas, where all of them lived except one who moved six miles away to the small town of Liberty. A great family that has served our country and veterans in their own right.
During the Korean War, Joseph Rodriguez from El Paso was drafted into the United States Army, although he later made the Army his career. Colonel Rodriguez, during the Korean War, received the Medal of Honor from President Truman because he attacked a Communist foxhole and then went on to attack four more Communist foxholes destroying all five emplacements and saving the lives of several of his comrades.
We have the unique distinction in this House of having a lot of great people who have served in our military in all branches of the service, both on this side and the other side, in this House and in the Senate. But one of those individuals grew up in Dallas, Texas, and he served in the United States Air Force for 29 years. He was the director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School and flew with the Air Force Thunderbirds. He was a highly decorated fighter pilot who flew combat missions both
in the Korean War and Vietnam, and in Korea he flew F-86s in 62 combat missions. In Vietnam, he flew F-4s.
And in 1966 while flying his 25th combat mission, our own Sam Johnson was shot down over North Vietnam. He was a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton for 7 years, including 42 months in solitary confinement. During that time, he was repeatedly tortured.
He is a decorated war hero. He was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star with Valor, two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals, and three Outstanding Unit Awards as well. We are honored to have him not only from the State of Texas but to serve in this House of Representatives as many other veterans do as well.
Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield as much time as he may consume to our distinguished colleague and hero from the State of Texas (Mr. Sam Johnson).
(Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to voice my support for combat veterans from the Lone Star State. You have heard a lot of stories from TED POE.
As a 29-year Air Force veteran and Texas native, I think it's great that Humble, Texas, will have a post office dedicated to those selfless men and women in the Armed Forces; and I commend my friend, TED POE, for spearheading this effort.
You know, many war heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan call the Lone Star State home. He mentioned one of [Page: H2234]
them, but as an example, you may know the name Marcus Luttrell. He was a Petty Officer First Class born in Huntsville, Texas, a former Navy SEAL, awarded the Navy Cross and wrote the New York Times best-selling book ``Lone Survivor.'' The book details his remarkable story of surviving one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. Special Forces. I had
the honor of meeting him last week, and he's a remarkable individual.
TED mentioned Monica Lin Brown, the 19-year-old medic from Texas who became the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the Nation's third highest medal for valor. Army Specialist Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees last spring in Afghanistan. After the explosion which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body
to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away.
While today I have only mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan, I could go on for hours, as TED POE did, highlighting noticeable Texans who have gone above and beyond their service to this great Nation.
I want to thank Mr. Poe and Humble, Texas, for recognizing those men and women who proudly wear the uniform for the United States of America. They help keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave. I salute all of our veterans.
God bless you and may God continue to bless our great Nation. I salute all of you in this Chamber for your support for our veterans.