Chuck Fleischmann honors US Army Specialist Andrew Smith on the House floor
July 11, 2012
"I rise to honor Specialist Andrew Smith, of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. Andrew grew up in my hometown of Ooltewah, Tennessee, and enlisted in the Army after graduating from Lee University.
"On his first patrol in Kandahar, an IED detonated near him, and he lost both of his legs. I first met Andrew as he was recovering Walter Reed, where I was impressed by his spirit, curiosity, and determination. His wife Tori, was by his side the entire time, and keeps a constant vigil. Andrew's mother has been active as well, ensuring that he receives the best care possible.
"A particularly touching tribute is an essay written by Andrew's sister, Katie. She writes, "He was aware of the risks that were involved in being a soldier, but he was so devoted to protecting our freedom that he was willing to sacrifice in a major way. Even though he is away from the war, he is still fighting."
"Katie's essay reminds us that our freedom and safety depend on heroes like Andrew Smith, who put their lives on the line to defend us. I am humbled to recognize Andrew, and I am pleased his family is able to join him here in the House gallery today. I ask that Katie's essay be submitted to the Congressional Record, and speak for all Americans when I say that we are forever grateful.
"I yield back."