Honoring Our Heroes Is Who We Are

On September 11, 2012 America lost four patriots, and in the Navy SEALs we lost two brothers. The deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi was the first time the United States lost an Ambassador in the line of duty since 1979 and we are still searching for answers.

Honoring U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer and Air Force veteran Sean Smith, and two retired U.S. Navy SEALs working as CIA security contractors, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty, with Congressional Gold Medals is not about politics; it’s about paying respect and honoring four American patriots who served our nation honorably in some of our darkest hours.

I have a lot of criticism for the Administration’s handling of Benghazi, but to me this is not about politics. Benghazi was personal. I lost friends, brothers, and America lost dedicated patriots. This is about the four American heroes who lost their lives defending our embassy. I had the privilege of serving with Tyrone and Glen during my 23-year career with the U.S. Navy SEALs as both an instructor and friend. They were good men and great SEALs.

Congress has proven we can put politics aside and work together on the issues that are at the heart of who we are as Americans. Honoring our heroes is who we are.

Working with Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts who is introducing the companion legislation in the U.S. Senate, I will build a broad base of support for this honor. Already in the House we’ve added original cosponsors from both sides of the aisle: Susan Davis (D-CA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Chris Stewart (R-UT) and David Rouzer (R-NC). I urge every one of my colleagues to stand and show these patriots, and their families, that their sacrifice to our nation was not in vain.

— Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT)

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