Mr. Speaker: In August, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community lost one of its best and brightest. Staff Sergeant Joshua Bowden, of Villa Rica, Georgia, was killed in action on August 31, 2013, at the age of 28, while serving his country in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Bowden joined the United States Army in 2005 and was on his second deployment to Afghanistan. His awards included the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, Purple Heart, Joint Defense Meritorious Service Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
As co-Chairman of the House EOD Caucus, along with Congresswoman Susan Davis, I was honored to meet Staff Sergeant Bowden in 2011 during our caucus' first annual EOD Day on the Hill. The purpose of this event was to educate members and staff about the critical mission EOD forces play in defending American interests, both at home and abroad. Staff Sergeant Bowden was a patriot who was willing to put himself in the line of fire to defend our country's way of life, and I am proud to have met him.
In September, Staff Sgt. Bowden was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. It is important that we regularly take time to reflect on the sacrifices made by our Nation's servicemen and women and the veterans who preceded them. I am honored to have met Staff Sergeant Joshua Bowden, and my thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.