Mr. Speaker: ``Just a truck driver and a daddy'' is how Mark Lunsford described himself before February 24, 2005. However, that night forever altered the course of his own life. A convicted sex offender snuck into the Lunsford home and kidnapped Mark's 9-year-old daughter, Jessica. For 3 weeks, Mark pled to the American public for Jessica's safe return, to no avail.

   A sex offender was captured, confessed to the kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing Jessica by burying her alive. Mark's mission to protect our Nation's children from these predators became his life's ambition.

   Using the local and national media, Mark has raised the awareness and the need to strengthen the laws to keep sex offenders from harming our kids. He has traveled from State to State campaigning for Jessica's Law, which includes harsher punishments for sex offenders. He was also instrumental in helping Congress pass the Adam Walsh Child Safety Act, which tracks child molesters.

   Last night, Congressman Jim Costa and myself, on behalf of the Victims' Rights Caucus, were pleased to honor Mark Lunsford, this daddy, this truck driver, for his commitment to our Nation's children. After all, children are our greatest natural resource.

   And that's just the way it is.