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Madam Speaker, it's my solemn honor tonight to pay tribute to an American hero and a son of Texas killed in Afghanistan in service to our country.

Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo died in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Edwardo was killed by injuries sustained when an IED was detonated near his dismounted patrol. Madam Speaker, IEDs are the way the cowards of the desert fight against our Americans. Sergeant Loredo was just 34 years of age, and it was just one day before his 35th birthday when he gave his life for our Nation.

This great American warrior was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He was an Army Airborne soldier. Edwardo served combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was with C Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg.

Now the 82nd Airborne Division has had its share of famous soldiers, from Sergeant Alvin C. York to General James M. Gavin. But the real story of the 82nd Airborne Division is the selfless men like Edwardo Loredo--one of the thousands of paratroopers in jump boots, baggy pants, and maroon berets. They jump out of aircraft loaded with a ton of gear and stare danger right in the face. And if you are looking for peril, you will find our paratroopers there, jumping out of airplanes into the worst hellholes on the planet, finding the terrorists cowering in their caves, taking the fight to the enemy, and treading where the timid dare not go.

You see, Madam Speaker, our Airborne soldiers plant the American flag and say, The American soldier is here to defend freedom and liberty. They go to liberate, not to conquer. And you can point them to danger, and they'll jump right in. They're the Airborne soldiers of the 82nd. They're called the "All Americans," signified by their famous "AA" patch on their shoulder. Their division was first formed by soldiers from all of the 48 States at the time.

Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo was one of such American troopers. He graduated from Sam Houston High School and joined the Army shortly after graduation. He met his wife, Jennifer, in the Army. First Sergeant Jennifer Loredo, Edwardo's wife, was deployed to northern Afghanistan when she got news that her husband had been killed in southern Afghanistan.

This fine young couple are examples of the absolute best America has. They sacrificed so much in service for the country that they love. Edwardo called his fellow soldiers his family as well, and he loved the Army life.

Edwardo is survived by his 2-year-old son, Eddie; his 7-year-old daughter, Laura; and his 13-year-old stepdaughter, Alexis.

His family says Edwardo was an adventurer. He adored his wife and family, and he loved to cook for his family. America is blessed to have such a rare breed of man who serves as protector to his family and to his Nation.

Madam Speaker, this is a photograph of Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo. General Douglas MacArthur talked about such men, and he summed up their service in three words when he said, ``Duty, honor, country.'' Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what these people will be, what they can be, and what they will always be. Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo lived those words. He honored his country and his family with his courage and his dedication, and he gave his life for the things he believed in.

It was once said that what we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for the others and the world remains and is immortal. Edwardo's sacrifice will not be forgotten by our Nation. Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo's name is now written on the sacred rolls of American patriots who paid in blood for this Nation's freedom and for the freedom of other nations.

Today I offer a grateful nation's thanks and prayers. We are grateful that a man like Edwardo Loredo lived and loved America. My heartfelt condolences to Edwardo's wife and children, his friends and family in Houston, and to the 82nd Airborne family. Today we honor this great American warrior's life and are humbled by his greatest of sacrifices. We are truly blessed to have called Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo an American.

And that's just the way it is. 

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