Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Mr. Speaker, Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there are echoes and reechoes: Duty, honor, country.

Mr. Speaker, General Douglas MacArthur spoke these words to West Point graduates of what the American soldier should be.

Captain David Fraser, West Pointer, personified these words. For the last year, Captain David Fraser patrolled the vast desert battlefields of war-torn Iraq in search of the enemies of freedom.

This December, his tour of duty was over and he would be coming back to Fort Hood, Texas, to spend Christmas with those he cared about.

But on November 26, 2006, 25-year-old Captain Fraser and three other soldiers were killed in Baghdad by a cowardly enemy using an improvised explosive device called an IED.

Captain Fraser excelled at life. He was a native of Spring, Texas. He attended Westfield High School where he was an honor student and a star cross-country athlete. Twice, he led the team to qualify for the Texas State cross-country meet. His senior year, Captain Fraser led the boy's team to the first cross-country district title in over 19 years. He was voted the most athletic of his senior class at Westfield.

He was a devout Christian who remained active in his faith, whether he be in Texas or West Point, or stationed in lands far, far away. He was always willing to lend a hand at Sunday school or participate in Christian community events. His faith was his cornerstone. Those who knew Captain Fraser knew a man who was respected and admired by all. He was a born leader, always doing the right thing.

Captain Fraser applied to the West Point Military Academy, he said, out of sense of duty and as his way of giving back to a country that provided him with unlimited opportunities. Such powerful words, Mr. Speaker, of patriotism from one of America's finest.

Captain Fraser had a family history of military service. His mother, Helen; his father, Richard; his brother, Patrick, all served in the United States Armed Forces. He wanted to continue that proud tradition at West Point.

At West Point, he ran like the West Texas wind as a member of the cross-country and track teams. Captain Fraser was also a superior student in the classroom. He graduated from that tough academy with honors as the top student in civil engineering. His academic performance promised Captain Fraser a faculty position at West Point during his career.

An accomplished soldier, Captain Fraser comple