Mr. Speaker, Winston Churchill said that, ``We are masters of our fate, the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will never be denied us.''
Army PFC Brandon Keith Bobb believed in these words. He believed in the mission of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He believed in freedom and liberation from tyranny and terrorism.
Private First Class Bobb was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, a small town in southeast Texas that I represent. He attended Memorial High School and was a member of the track and field team. His high school coach remembers a young man who exhibited leadership as a high school student. His fellow students looked up to him and followed his examples.
Private First Class Bobb did not get the opportunity to graduate from Memorial High School because of Hurricane Rita. Hurricane Rita reared her vicious head and forced Bobb and his family to evacuate southeast Texas, and they relocated in Florida. He finished high school there.
He did not always want to be in the United States Army. It was in Riverview that he decided his career path in life, to become a chef. So, after high school, Bobb enrolled in the Orlando Culinary Academy. However, he quickly decided that this career choice was really not for him, and he decided that he wanted to belong in the United States Army. He knew the United States was at war in action and Iraq, but he enlisted in the Army because he knew it was his duty.
As private first class in the Army, Bobb became a military police officer in the 401st Military Police Company, 92nd Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas.
He enjoyed being a military police officer, maintaining law and order on the Army base. According to Private Bobb, he said, ``As of now, being a military police officer is the best job in the world.''
He was a man of many friends, especially among his brothers in arms in the United States Army. Those who knew him knew a young man that had an easy going personality and a positive outlook on life. He was always cheerful and was a soldier that others looked to for support and to lend a helping hand. He was always thinking of others, according to his friends.
He knew he was lucky in life, and he admitted on his personnel Myspace page that he hadn't always followed the straight and narrow path and had engaged in potentially dangerous activity growing up. But he was confident that that part of his life was behind him, and regardless of how tough he thought he was then, he knew in his heart that he was a real soldier in the Army.
Private First Class Bobb continued and said, The United States Army is where the real tough men are at, my drill sergeants, my battle buddies, my commanders, and first sergeants that stand ready to die for the rest of us every day.
Private First Class Bobb was deployed to Iraq in 2006 and was proud to go over to the vast desert sands of Iraq and defend freedom for the Iraqi people and represent the United States. He believed in his heart what he was doing was right.
But on July 17, a week ago, Private First Class Bobb was traveling in a military Humvee in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad when a bomb detonated near the vehicle. The bomb killed Pfc. Brandon Bobb and two of his fellow soldiers. He was 20 years old. He was due home from duty on July 26. That would have been tomorrow, one week after he gave his life for his country.
This is a recent photograph taken of Private First Class Bobb. This past Monday, this southeast Texas warrior, this son of Texas, came back to his beloved hometown. The citizens of Port Arthur turned out and honored him with a patriot's welcome. A water-made rainbow arch greeted the plane that carried the fallen soldier as hundreds of individuals from the town waving American flags lined the streets to pay final respects. Mr. Speaker, that's what people do in southeast Texas when our heroes come home.
A lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, in a recent letter from Iraq, described what it meant to be an American warrior. He said, ``Our highest calling: to defend our way of life and Western civilization; fight for the freedom of others; protect our family, friends, and country; and give hope to a people long without it.''
Pfc. Brandon Bobb was that American warrior. He embodied what it meant to serve one's country with duty and honor, to put others above himself, and to defend the freedom of all Nations.
We are a grateful Nation for the sacrifice of Pfc. Brandon Bobb. Our hearts and prayers are with his family and his Army buddies.
Mr. Speaker, our young people who go to the valley of the gun and the desert of the sun are relentless, remarkable characters. They go where others fear to tread and where the faint-hearted are not found. These warriors represent the best of our Nation. They are the sons of liberty and the daughters of democracy. These few, these noble few are American warriors who take care of the rest of us.
And that's just the way it is.
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