Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank and salute those members of the National Guard for the tremendous efforts they put forth in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. They have tirelessly devoted their time and energy working around the clock to support neighbors, Americans who have been affected by this unfortunate devastating event.

Altogether, there are over 45,000 National Guard personnel on the ground or aboard ships supporting the massive relief efforts that continue to take place. Members of the National Guard have provided widespread search and rescue, evacuation, medical support. They braved the dangers of flood waters and have been faced with unimaginable situations to evacuate over 50,000 people and rescue 11,000 from hotels, rooftops, and floating debris.

I want to specifically commend and thank the 155 members of the 8th Brigade of the Texas National Guard. Under the command of Colonel Donald Petrash, the 8th Brigade is stationed at 12 different shelters helping evacuees from Louisiana in southeast Texas.

Mr. Speaker, the National Guard and Reservists are vital to our communities especially during these times. This is just another reminder that we must never forget about our citizen soldiers.