[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 160 (Tuesday, November 12, 2013)]
[Page H6979]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                               ALIVE DAY

  (Ms. DUCKWORTH asked and was given permission to address the House 
for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. Speaker, today is my alive day.
  On November 12, 2004, I nearly lost my life in a dusty field in Iraq. 
I would have died that day if it were not for my helicopter crew.
  If it weren't for Chief Warrant Officer Dan Milberg, we would never 
have been able to land that aircraft. If it weren't for Specialist Kurt 
Hannemann, who, despite his own injuries, stood the perimeter to 
protect us from approaching enemy, I wouldn't be here today. If it 
weren't for Sergeant Chris Fierce, who was also grievously wounded and 
pointing to the medics to take care of me before him, those medics 
would not have realized as quickly as they did that I was still alive. 
There was no way to egress if Chief Warrant Officer Pat Meunks didn't 
land his aircraft right behind ours to pull us out. Dan could not have 
carried me out if Sergeant Matt Backeus were not there to help all of 
us to his aircraft.
  It is because of my buddies that I am here today. I owe it to them to 
make their sacrifices and their heroic efforts that day worth it. I owe 
it to them to live every day to the fullest and to stand up for our 
veterans and for all Americans.
  It doesn't matter where you come from. It doesn't matter what god you 
pray to or whether you are a male or a female. What matters is the 
mission and that you will never, ever leave one of your own behind.
  We have a lot of work to do here in Congress, but we must remember 
that our mission is to serve the American people. That means we must 
work together just like my crew. That's why I will always reach across 
the aisle to work with all of my colleagues in order to find solutions 
for our Nation. We don't often get chances like I did. I will never 
waste a second chance, this time that I have.
  Dan, Chris, Kurt, Matt, and Pat, thank you for my life.