•  Mr. Speaker, etched in white marble on a gravestone in Arlington National Cemetery is the name of Army Staff Sergeant Brian T. Craig. Born on April 2, 1975, he passed away 13 days after his 27th birthday on April 15, 2002 in Afghanistan.
  • Brian was a son, a friend and, most importantly to him, a Christian. Brian loved his family, and he made it a weekly ritual to call home early on Saturday mornings to let his parents know he was okay. He graduated from Klein Forest High School in 1993 and from there went on to enlist in the United States Army the next fall. His parents had encouraged him to go to college, but Brian was dead set on enlisting; it was in hisblood. His father, Arthur, was stationed in Thailand with the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Brian served in Anchorage, Alaska as an Airborne Infantry soldier.
  • Upon reenlistment, he served in a range of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (E.O.D.) missions in support of the United States and NATO, even serving in Bosnia/Kosovo and The Republic of North Korea. He was deployed in support of Operation Noble Eagle/Enduring Freedom to Kandahar, Afghanistan in November of 2001, when he was later killed.
  • His parents, Arthur and Barbara Craig, heard news that four U.S soldiers were killed in Kandahar as they dismantled confiscated rockets, they feared their son was among that four.
  • Barbara was returning from the airport, after dropping her husband off for a mission trip, when she saw an Army car pull up in front of the house. Her worries were confirmed, Brian was among the dead in Afghanistan.
  • Brian paid the ultimate sacrifice; he laid down his life for not only his family and friends , but people he had never met. He was working to keep the civilians of Afghanistan safe, to make the world a little safer, too. Brian worked with a small team that went around and collected old bombs and rockets. They then took these explosives to a safe location to detonate them, so they would not harm other people. As his father put it, rather than using these weapons of destruction, Brian was cleaning up munitions left by past and present wars.
  • On the homepage of a memorial website for Brian reads a verse from the Book of John: ``Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends .'' This short scripture is a living testimony of the man that Brian was. He was a man of great faith whose life was a light in dark circumstances.
  • The website features one of Brian's last letters home. In this three page letter, Brian describes his walk with Christ. He says that during his time in Afghanistan, he had grown spiritually. He was a member of a men's bible study and reiterated that it was an answer to his prayers. He also stated that he never thought he could grow in his relationship with God and the people he worked with and that he wanted to make a difference in these men's lives.
  • And he did.
  • On the message board of his memorial website are short messages from Brian's friends , family and coworkers. A comment from Major Chris Miller, Commander, Special Forces, reads: ``He let his silent comportment and deep faith speak for him instead of his words. This is such a rare quality in young people these days.'' In his letter, Brian graciously thanks his parents for their love and support. He let them know, the Lord was answering their prayers for him; he could feel it. He simply asked them to continue their prayers and sent his love .
  • Brian was a person of tremendous character and faith. He will not be forgotten. For his service, he was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Bronze Star Medal.
  • We should always support our troops, and we should always keep them in our thoughts and prayers. For the warriors across the globe who fight every day ensuring our well-being, there is no greater love .
  • God Bless our troops, and God Bless Army Staff Sergeant Brian T. Craig.
  • And that's just the way it is.