Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

 Mr. Speaker, Memorial Day will soon be upon us. Eighteen soldiers from southeast Texas and troops have given their lives in Iraq. These are their photographs over here to my left, all 18 of them. These are the names of those warriors, the roll call of the fallen:

   Staff Sergeant Russell Slay, United States Marine Corps, age 34. He was killed on November 9, 2004. He is from Humble, Texas. When Russell told his mother he was joining the Marine Corps after high school, he told her that he knew she would not like it, but he joined anyway to serve his country.

   Lance Corporal Wesley Canning, United States Marine Corps, age 21, killed November 10, 2004. He is from Friendswood, Texas. He always wanted to be a marine and had the ambition to serve for 20 years. He was a proud Texan, and when he was home on leave, he bought a new pickup truck so he could show his marine buddies his ``Don't Mess with Texas'' bumper sticker.

   Lance Corporal Fred Lee Maciel, United States Marine Corps, age 20, killed January 26, 2005. He was from Spring, Texas. He was killed in a helicopter crash in al-Anbar province on his way to begin security preparations for the historic Iraqi elections. Four days later I was in Iraq to witness those successful elections. Lance Corporal Maciel made them possible.

   Private First Class Wesley Riggs, United States Army, age 19, killed May 17, 2005, from Baytown/Beach City, Texas. He graduated in just 3 years from high school, and he loved agriculture.

   Sergeant Bill Meeuwsen, United States Army, age 24, killed November 23, 2005, from Kingwood, Texas. He went to Texas A&M, but he dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army as a result of 9/11.

   Lance Corporal Robert Martinez, United States Marine Corps, age 20, killed December 1, 2005, from Cleveland, Texas. He dreamed of getting a degree in education and becoming a baseball coach after his career in the Marines was over. Today, there is a post office in Cleveland, Texas, named in his honor.

   Staff Sergeant Michael Durbin, United States Army, age 27, killed January 25, 2006, from Houston, Texas. He was a gifted artist. The day he was killed, he called his wife to tell her that he loved her.

   Tech Sergeant Walter Moss, Jr., United States Air Force, age 37, killed on March 30, 2006, from Houston, Texas. He joined the Air Force after high school, and he served in Operation Desert Storm. He specialized in detecting and defusing makeshift bombs. He was killed while defusing an IED.

   Private First Class Kristian Menchaca, United States Army, age 23, killed June 16, 2006, from Houston, Texas. When he joined the Army, Kristian wanted to become an infantryman. Kristian's wife stated that being in the military was what he always wanted to do. He was kidnapped and murdered by enemy forces.

   Staff Sergeant Ben Williams, United States Marine Corps, age 30, killed June 20, 2006, from Orange, Texas. He joined right after high school, and he served his country for 12 years and was on his third duty in Iraq when he was killed.

   Lance Corporal Ryan Miller, United States Marine Corps, age 19, killed September 14, 2006, from Pearland, Texas. He was a third-generation marine, and he graduated early so he could enlist and follow his father's and grandfather's footsteps. After his tour of duty was over, he wanted to become a Houston police officer, just like his mom and dad.

   Staff Sergeant Edward Reynolds, Jr., United States Army, age 27, killed September 26, 2006, from Port Arthur, Texas. He was looking forward to his New Year's Eve wedding date with his new fiancee, and he was the man that pushed his friends to succeed.

   Captain David Fraser, United States Army, age 25, killed November 26, 2006, from Spring, Texas. He a