[Congressional Record Volume 150, Number 132 (Wednesday, November 17, 2004)]
[Pages S11419-S11421]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       HONORING OUR ARMED FORCES

                    lance corporal shane e. kielion

  Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, I rise to express my sympathy over the loss 
of Shane Kielion of Omaha, NE, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine 
Corps. Lance Corporal Kielion was killed while supporting Operation 
Iraqi Freedom on November 15, 2004, in Iraq's Al Anbar Province. He was 
23 years old.
  Lance Corporal Kielion attended Omaha South High School where he was 
a leader both on the football field and in the classroom. After 
graduating in 1999, he briefly attended Peru State College on a 
football scholarship before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. He was 
assigned 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I 
Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA. Lance 
Corporal Kielion will be remembered as a loyal marine who had a strong 
sense of duty, honor, and love of country. Thousands of brave Americans 
like Lance Corporal Kielion are currently serving in Iraq.
  Lance Corporal Kielion is survived by his parents, Patricia and Roger 
Kielion; his wife, April, and their newborn son. Our thoughts and 
prayers are with them at this difficult time. The United States of 
America is proud of Shane Kielion's service and mourns his loss.
  For his service, bravery and sacrifice, I ask my colleagues to join 
me and all Americans in honoring LCpl Shane Kielion.

                         lcpl kyle burns, USMC

  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, I rise today to express our Nation's 
deepest thanks and gratitude to a special young man and his family. 
During this past recess, I received word that on November 11, 2004, 
Veteran's Day, Marine LCpl Kyle Burns of Laramie, WY, died in the line 
of duty while serving his country in the war on terrorism. Lance 
Corporal Burns was killed while fighting insurgents in the battle for 
Fallujah, Iraq, west of Baghdad. It was his second tour of duty in 
  Lance Corporal Burns was a member of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance 
Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. He 
joined the Marine Corps after graduating from

[[Page S11420]]

Laramie High School in 2002. He held a profound sense of duty and knew 
he was doing the right thing. He was very proud of being a Marine. He 
loved the outdoors and enjoyed hiking, hunting, and fishing. He was a 
sports fan, and he played baseball and ran track, but he particularly 
liked hockey--a sport he played for 12 years. Kyle Burns had a love and 
lust for life and made every opportunity to live it to the best of his 
  It is because of people such as Kyle Burns that we continue to live 
safe and free. America's men and women who answer the call of service 
and wear our Nation's uniform deserve respect and recognition for the 
enormous burden that they willingly bear. Our people put everything on 
the line everyday, and because of these folks, our Nation remains free 
and strong in the face of danger.
  The motto of the Marine Corps is ``Semper Fidelis.'' It means 
``Always Faithful.'' Through his selfless and courageous sacrifice, 
LCpl Kyle Burns lived up to these words with great honor.
  Lance Corporal Burns is survived by his mother Jo, his father Bob, 
his brother Kris, and his brothers of the United States Marine Corps. 
We say goodbye to a son, a brother, a Marine, and an American. Our 
Nation pays its deepest respect to LCpl Kyle Burns for his courage, his 
love of country, and his sacrifice so that we may remain free. He was a 
hero in life, and he remains a hero in death. All of Wyoming and, 
indeed, the entire Nation are proud of him.
  So, one Marine to another, Lance Corporal Burns, Semper Fi.

                       corporal lance m. thompson

  Mr. BAYH. Mr. President, I rise today with a heavy heart and deep 
sense of gratitude to honor the life of a brave young man from Kokomo, 
IN. Corporal Lance M. Thompson, 21 years old, died on November 15. 
Lance was killed by an improvised explosive devise while conducting 
combat operations in the Al-Anbar Province of Iraq. With his entire 
life before him, Lance risked everything to fight for the values 
Americans hold close to our hearts, in a land halfway around the world.
  A 2001 graduate of Eastbrook High School, Lance followed in his 
brother Phillip's footsteps by joining the Marines. His father, 
Gregory, told the Kokomo Tribune that his son had been a committed 
member of the Armed Forces and believed in what the Marines were doing 
in Iraq. Reflecting on Lance's life, his half-brother, Matt, told the 
Marion Chronicle-Tribune that his ``motto'' had been ``gung-ho.'' This 
selfless dedication carried Lance through his first tour of duty in 
Iraq and led him back again for a second tour, which began in September 
of this year.
  Lance was the 38th Hoosier soldier to be killed while serving his 
country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was assigned to the Weapons 
Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine, 2-Battalion Combat Team, 1st Marine 
Division, Camp Pendleton, CA. This brave young soldier leaves behind 
his wife, Dawn; his father, Gregory; his mother, Melanie; his brother, 
Phillip; and his half-brother, Matt.
  Today, I join Lance's family, his friends and the entire Kokomo 
community in mourning his death. While we struggle to bear our sorrow 
over this loss, we can also take pride in the example he set, bravely 
fighting to make the world a safer place. It is his courage and 
strength of character that people will remember when they think of 
Lance, a memory that will burn brightly during these continuing days of 
conflict and grief.
  Lance was known for his dedication to family and his love of country. 
According to friends and loved ones, he also enjoyed spending time 
outdoors, being with children and animals, and was always making jokes. 
Today and always, Raymond will be remembered by family members, friends 
and fellow Hoosiers as a true American hero and we honor the sacrifice 
he made while dutifully serving his country.
  As I search for words to do justice in honoring Lance's sacrifice, I 
am reminded of President Lincoln's remarks as he addressed the families 
of the fallen soldiers in Gettysburg: ``We cannot dedicate, we cannot 
consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and 
dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power 
to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we 
say here, but it can never forget what they did here.'' This statement 
is just as true today as it was nearly 150 years ago, as I am certain 
that the impact of Lance's actions will live on far longer than any 
record of these words.
  It is my sad duty to enter the name of Lance M. Thompson in the 
official Record of the United States Senate for his service to this 
country and for his profound commitment to freedom, democracy, and 
peace. When I think about this just cause in which we are engaged, and 
the unfortunate pain that comes with the loss of our heroes, I hope 
that families like Lance's can find comfort in the words of the prophet 
Isaiah who said, ``He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord 
God will wipe away tears from off all faces.''
  May God grant strength and peace to those who mourn, and may God be 
with all of you, as I know He is with Lance.

                      sergeant russell l. collier

  Mrs. LINCOLN. Mr. President, today I rise to celebrate the life of an 
authentic American hero who fought to defend his Nation. Tragically, 
Sgt. Russell L. Collier of Harrison, AR, died October 3, 2004, in Taj, 
Iraq, while trying to rescue a fellow soldier also serving in Operation 
Iraqi Freedom. He was a member of 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery 
Regiment, Arkansas National Guard, from Russellville, AR.
  Sgt. Collier exhibited tremendous courage and strength in the face of 
great peril. When his unit came under enemy fire while detaining 
insurgents suspected of building improvised rocket launchers for use 
against U.S. forces, his friend and fellow soldier, Sgt. Chris Potts of 
Tiverton, RI, was shot. Sgt. Collier, who as the unit medic was known 
as ``Doc,'' gave up his rifle to run to Sgt. Potts' aid. Both men died 
trying to save their fellow soldiers. Indeed, Sgt. Collier risked his 
life to save another, and, in the end, lost his own life.
  The Crossett native was embraced by Sgt. Potts' 103rd Field Artillery 
of the Rhode Island National Guard, which has fought alongside Sgt. 
Collier's own regiment. While speaking about the fallen hero, fellow 
medic Spc. Tommy Rich said, ``He took care of the Rhodys. He was a 
Rhody. They wouldn't give him up, and he wouldn't leave them. They've 
been a team from the beginning. He loved his guys.'' Sgt. Collier's 
attempt to rescue a fellow soldier illustrates his strong commitment to 
his unit and his truly selfless nature.
  Sgt. Collier loved the military, said his sister, Carolyn Pfaus. His 
long military career began in 1975 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army 
after graduating from Wuerzburg High School in Germany. In 1978, he 
joined the U.S. Navy and then the Arkansas Army National Guard in 1999. 
His wife, Rocky, said, ``The military was his whole life.''
  Yet to Sgt. Collier, who also worked full-time at night at Tyson 
Foods in Green Forest, the most important aspect of his life was his 
family. He had sent his 9-year-old son, Hunter, an Army action figure 
for his birthday last July from Iraq.
  Sgt. Collier is survived by his wife, Rocky, and their son, Hunter, 
both of Harrison; two adult children, Mary Virginia and Wayne, who both 
live in North Carolina; and sister, Carolyn Pfaus, of Conway. His 
family and friends will remember a man dedicated to his family and the 
military, and we will remember a man who died a hero. Our prayers and 
gratitude go out to his family for the great service that Sgt. Collier 
rendered to our Nation.

                      sergeant thomas c. rosenbaum

  Mr. President. I am honored to rise today in tribute to the life of 
Sergeant Thomas Chad Rosenbaum. Above all, Sgt. Rosenbaum was a beloved 
son, brother, friend and father. He was also one of the brave souls 
valiantly serving our Nation in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tragically, he 
was killed on September 18, 2004, when his convoy came under attack 
while moving through Baghdad.
  Sgt. Rosenbaum was born in the small town of Prescott, AR, and grew 
up in nearby Hope. He spent his youth, as many children do, 
participating in athletics and various extracurricular activities, 
playing pranks with his friends and collecting small turtles from the 
banks of nearby rivers with his parents and his brother. Today, he is 
remembered by his family and loved

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ones as an outgoing, fun-loving, and fearless young man who loved God, 
his family and his country. This love of country motivated him to 
enlist in the U.S. Army during his senior year of high school. He was 
assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, and was 
deployed to Iraq in March.
  In Iraq, Sgt. Rosenbaum served as a chemical specialist who also 
helped train Iraqi security forces in the use of firearms. Although he 
was originally scheduled to depart Iraq in May, his duty was extended 
until December. Weeks before his death, Sgt. Rosenbaum had the 
opportunity to return home on leave for 15 days to spend with his 
friends and family. Most of this time was spent with the person he 
called ``the love of his life,'' his 4 year-old son, Ty. Father and son 
would return to those same Caddo River banks he had known as a child 
and together they searched for small turtles. Today, Ty still has one 
of those turtles, whom he has named ``Milkshake,'' and whom he has kept 
as a reminder of the time spent with his father.
  The loss of Thomas Rosenbaum is a tragic and sobering reminder of the 
terrible human sacrifice that war brings, and I am eternally grateful 
for his service to our Nation. Although he may no longer be with us, 
his spirit and his legacy lives on in each of us through the examples 
he set and the many lives he touched. My thoughts and prayers are with 
his son, Ty, his parents, Jackie and Donna, and the rest of his family, 
friends, and loved ones.

                        sergeant ronald w. baker

  Mr. President, I rise today with a heavy heart to pay tribute to the 
life of Sergeant Ronald W. Baker and to honor his sacrifice on behalf 
of a grateful Nation. Sgt. Baker was a loving man who cared deeply for 
his family and his friends. He was also a native Arkansan who cared 
deeply for his state and his country. Today, he is remembered as a 
devoted husband, father, brother, son, and friend. He is also 
remembered as a brave soldier who died a hero.
  Sgt. Baker was born in the small Arkansas town of Searcy and later 
moved with his family to nearby Cabot. Wherever he went, Sgt. Baker 
quickly made friends and those who knew him best often talked of how 
his personality always seemed to draw others to him. His strong sense 
of family and community is what contributed to his decision to enlist 
in the Arkansas Army National Guard a month after the tragic events of 
September 11, 2001. He served as a member of the Guard's 39th Support 
Battalion based out of Lonoke and was later called up to serve as a 
specialist in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Along with many of his comrades 
in the 39th, he was stationed at Camp Taji, about 16 miles northwest of 
downtown Baghdad.
  On October 7, Sgt. Baker volunteered for a supply mission that would 
convoy from Camp Taji to another camp nearby. While en route, a 
roadside bomb concealed in a parked car exploded as the convoy rode by 
with Sgt. Baker in the gunner's turret of a humvee. As a result of the 
blast, he sustained serious injuries and was immediately flown to 
Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany. Sgt. Baker's wife, Joanne, 
and his father, Wayne, were quickly flown in from Arkansas so they 
could be there to share in his last few moments. Although Sgt. Baker 
was never baptized, he had previously told his wife that he wanted to 
leave the world as a Christian. Before he passed away on October 13, 
Joanne would watch as an Air National Guard Chaplain baptized her 
husband and, in her words, permitted him to pass into a better place.
  The day of his funeral was proclaimed as ``Sergeant Ronald Baker 
Day'' in his hometown. Those en route to his memorial ceremony at the 
Arkansas Veterans' Cemetery in North Little Rock drove under an arch 
made of ladders over the highway that hung a large American flag. It 
was a touching and fitting tribute, created by the Sherwood Fire 
Department, to honor one of Arkansas' fallen who paid the ultimate 
sacrifice in order to make those around him safer.
  Along with a grateful Nation, my thoughts and prayers go out to 
Joanne; their 7-year-old daughter, Alexis; Harold and his mother 
Carolyn; his brother and sister; and to the rest of his family, friends 
and loved ones. Although Ronald Baker may no longer be with us, the 
lasting relationships he formed and the principles he fought for live 
on in all of us.

                         airman jesse m. samek

  Mr. President, today, I am honored to rise in tribute to the life of 
Jesse M. Samek and am humbled to pay tribute to his service to our 
  Friends and family would remember Airman Samek for living a life of 
fun and happiness. While growing up in Missouri and Arkansas, he spent 
much of his time, as most children do, hanging out with his friends and 
playing sports. He also had a great love of the outdoors and enjoyed 
camping, hiking, hunting, fishing and snow- and waterskiing with 
friends and family. He would go on to graduate from Rogers High School 
in 2001 and attended the University of Arkansas.
  It was clear to those who knew Airman Samek that he would succeed 
regardless of whatever path in life he chose to follow. He decided that 
path would ultimately be service to his country and he joined the 
United States Air Force in February of 2003. He was assigned to the 
66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, just outside of Las 
Vegas, and was deployed to Afghanistan in September.
  While serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, Airman Samek never lost 
his perspective on life and was proud to do his part to bring security 
and freedom to a Nation that had seen nothing but war and instability. 
His family later said that he worked for months to become a member of 
an elite group that qualified him for rescue duty as a flight engineer 
on an HH-60 Para Rescue helicopter. Tragically, he died on October 21 
from injuries he received when his helicopter crashed during a medical 
evacuation mission in northwestern Afghanistan. The aircraft was 
carrying a wounded Afghan election worker who was being transported for 
medical treatment and Airman Samek was treating him when the aircraft 
went down.
  David Dezarov would make the final trip home with his friend's body. 
``The hardest thing I've ever had to do was spend the last four days 
with him and not saying a word.'' On that flight from Atlanta to Tulsa, 
the pilot of the plane circled above Rogers for 10 minutes in tribute 
to that community's fallen hero. During the burial ceremony at Bella 
Vista Memorial Cemetery, Airman Samek's fellow Airmen would pay their 
last respects by flying over his casket in the same type of helicopter 
he once flew so proudly.
  My thoughts and prayers are with his parents, Gavin and Julie; his 
brother, Benjamin; his grandparents, David and Jenny Burkemper; and the 
rest of his family and friends. Although he is no longer with us, may 
we find solace in the many lives he touched and the sacrifice he made 
on behalf of a grateful Nation. In the words of his mother, Jesse Samek 
was a hero; not for what he did, but for who he was.