Madam Speaker, today the small town of Hull Texas, population 1,800, is mourning the loss of a native son who grew up to be a mighty warrior for the United States Army. He gave up everything he had to protect everyone else's freedom.
Army Sergeant Shaun Paul Tousha was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on April 9, 2008 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
Madam Speaker, the IED is the way our cowardly enemy fights this war. And in my Congressional district area, Shaun Paul is the 26th area resident that has been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan during these wars.
He was a man from small town Texas who had a playful heart, and he made a big impression on everybody that knew him growing up. He died as a war hero at the age of 30, and he will forever be recognized as how he lived, that being a loving husband, a caring father and a great friend to all those people in rural America.
Shaun Paul Tousha was born February 11, 1978 in Silsbee, Texas. He grew up in the town of Hull, Texas, and he was the son of the late Tommy Gene and Roberta Tousha. He was a husband to Christy Tousha, and loving father of the two children, Colton and Maycee.
As a teenager, Shaun played football, like most Texas rural boys do. He played at Hull-Daisetta High School. And he also liked to ride horses. And being a cowboy, he enjoyed bull riding.
His stepmother, Doris Tousha, was very proud of Shaun. She described him as outgoing and an individual who had a lot of friends. He was always cutting up, acting silly, and made friends easily. He liked to joke around, and his personality drew people toward him. She said that he may have been a handful growing up, but she was proud of the way he turned out.
And after graduating from Hull-Daisetta High School in May of 1996, Shaun got a job at a wire company in Dayton, Texas. He worked there for several years before he heard his Nation's call and joined the United States Army at the age of 22 in February of 2000.
His father, Tommy Gene Tousha, was extremely proud of his son's decision to serve in the Army, and even went with him to the local recruiting station when he joined up.
Madam Speaker, General Patton once said "we should live for something, rather than to die for nothing." Shaun sought to live his life in duty to this country.
Shaun attended basic training in Ft. Benning, Georgia and later was stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. He was assigned as a Generator Equipment Repairman in the 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, in Ft. Hood, Texas.
General Patton reminded us that "wars may be fought with weapons but they are won by men." Shaun was a skillful soldier, and he and his comrades in arms are the ones with the boots on the ground that are winning this war. Shaun realized this, and during his first tour of duty in Iraq he decided to re-enlist in the United States Army and make the military his career. He served three tours of duty in Iraq.
When Shaun's father died in 2002, he helped his stepmother, Doris, through many difficult times. He took care of his family back home in America.
Doris said that she was impressed at Shaun's emotional strength during that painful ordeal of the family father's death. Doris said that she was proud that the Army really helped him become a mature individual.
George Washington once said that "discipline is the soul of the Army." And with Shaun's character, background and career in the Army, Shaun was able to overcome even the most trying circumstances because of that discipline.
One of Shaun's best friends, Johnny Fregia, described him as a "good ol' boy that died for his country." They became friends when they worked together in Dayton, Texas. Shaun was Johnny's helper, and he kept work interesting for Johnny with his humor, ever-present smile and his constant good mood. They enjoyed even shooting pool after work, and Johnny said that Shaun was pretty good at it.
Johnny described the high caliber of character and love for their country that his friend Shaun had and the rest of our military men and women possess.
Johnny went ahead and said, "freedom ain't free. And sometimes we take it for granted. There's a price to pay, and those guys like Shaun are willing to pay for it. They are willing to lose everything they've got to keep this country free."
Madam Speaker, this is a recent photograph of Shaun Paul Tousha right before he died. Shaun Tousha paid the ultimate price with his life, the price for freedom in our country.
Aristotle once wrote that "we make war so that we may live in peace." Shaun served in order that we may have freedom and have real peace in this country.
Americans, even in this chamber, cry peace, peace. But Madam Speaker, there can be no peace as long as there are people who are trying to kill Americans somewhere in the world. And Shaun Paul tried to protect us from that threat.
He had a heart as big as Texas, and we are proud of Sergeant Shaun Tousha. The light of his life has been extinguished, buy Shaun's joyful spirit will burn bright forever in the hearts and minds of his friends, his fellow soldiers, and the Texans that loved him.
And that's just the way it is.
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