U.S. Rep Ted Poe, R-Humble, announced on Facebook Tuesday that he has requested a Nederland man killed in a terrorist attack in January 2013 be recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Victor Lovelady, 57, was killed by terrorists during a siege on an Algerian gas plant where he'd recently become employed.
Lovelady and his co-workers were in the Ain Amenas' cantina eating breakfast when members of the Signatories in Blood (or Signers in Blood), an al-Qaida splinter group, burst in shooting, hitting a man who made his way to the dining area. Having first aid skills, Lovelady quickly tended to the wounded man, stopping the bleeding.
The gas plant's employees decided to run and hide from the terrorists, and Lovelady helped people climb up through an opening in the ceiling.
When it was his turn to go, he fell backwards and broke his ankle.Lovelady and another man hadn't made it into the attic hiding space before terrorists found them, taking both hostage at gunpoint.
They held the men overnight at the plant, tied up and wired with explosives.The next day the terrorists forced them into a vehicle and tried to make their way across the massive plant property to meet up with other members of their group.
The FBI believed they intended to kidnap the oil workers for ransom, to exchange them for money or prisoners.But when Algerian soldiers cut them off, they aborted the mission in the most violent way - by detonating bombs wrapped around the hostages, killing Lovelady and two other Americans, Frederick Buttaccio of Katy and Gordon Lee Rowan of Sumpter, Ore.
The men who hid in the attic, including the man Lovelady tended to, survived, with the hostages careful not to betray their presence to their captors.
In his post, Poe said Lovelady "epitomized the very best of America" and is deserving of our nation's highest civilian honor.
"May we continue to honor the sacrifice that Victor Lovelady made as a courageous husband, father, and American," he wrote.
As originally published by The Beaumont Enterprise