Lance Cpl. Luke Yepsen, Texas Warrior

Madam Speaker,

We are United States Marines,

And for two and a quarter centuries

We have defined the standards of courage,

Esprit,

And military prowess.

Words spoken

By USMC General James L. Jones

Describes the elitism of those chosen few

Who wear the title of

United States Marine.

Luke was a young man whose life made a difference.

He personified the core values of the United States Marine Corps

Honor,

Courage,

Commitment.

From Kingwood, Texas,

A close-knit community near Houston

Luke was a graduate of Kingwood High School. He known for his big heart

And his ability to live life to the fullest.

He enjoyed traveling

And was proud to have visited 20 countries

In his short lifetime.

Luke deeply cared

About his family back home

And his military family.

His fellow soldiers say that he was more than a friend

He was a brother

Someone everyone wanted to know.

Like many Texans especially those Texans who go to war

Luke chose to enroll in Texas A&M after high school.

During his freshman year,

He made a decision to leave school.

Gary Yepsen - Lukes father

Asked him why he didnt want to graduate from college

And enter the Marine Corps as an officer.

Luke said

I dont want to go into the Marines to tell people what to do

I want to go into the Marines so they can tell me what to do.

Heres what President Ronald Reagan said about the Marines:

Some people spend an entire lifetime

Wondering if they made a difference in the world.

But, the Marines dont have that problem.

With faith in God and country

At 18,

Luke enrolled in the United States Marine Corps

He was an assaultman

Later a mechanic,

Which came easy to him because of his love of cars.

He had so much courage and pride, you cant even imagine.

You could hear it in his voice how proud he was, Lukes brother Kyle remembers.

In October of 2006,

Luke was deployed to Iraq

With the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Amid the violence and anarchy of Iraq

Lukes thoughts never waned

From the security of home and American freedom.

When told by his college roommate that he was praying for him

Luke responded Im praying for you.

On December 14, 2006,

At the age of 20

Luke

While fighting the forces of evil

Was killed by enemy action.

For his military service,

Luke was awarded the Purple Heart,

Combat Action Ribbon,

National Defense Service Medal,

Iraq Campaign Medal,

Global War on Terrorism Medal,

And the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

On the morning of December 22, 2006,

Hundreds of Kingwood residents

Lined the streets of this community

Paying tribute to the family of this patriot.

Many carried flags

Others held banners saying Proud to be an American

And Thank You.

As the funeral procession made its way to the church

The residents of Kingwood

With tearful eyes and grateful hearts

Saluted the Yepsen family.

Madam Speaker,

I want to tell you that patriotism

Is alive and well in the United States.

As the Kingwood, TX community

Mourns the loss of Americas son, Luke Yepsen and all those who came before

And will come after him

We know that freedom

Is not free.

We thank this fearless Marine for dedicating his life to America.

Lukes sacrifice,

Will be etched in the catalog of history

As another Marine who was always faithful.

A sacrifice made for his parents, Shelia and Gary

Brother Kyle

Fiance Sandra Bruman

The Kingwood community.

And this great Nation.

As we honor the life of Luke Yepsen

Reflect on these timeless words

From the Marine Corps Hymn:

In many a strife

Weve fought for life

And never lost our nerve.

If the Army and the Navy

Ever look on Heavens scenes,

They will find the streets are guarded

By United States Marines.

Madame Speaker,

I suspect that LCpl Luke Yepsen

Is patrolling the streets of Heaven tonight

And guarding the Pearly Gates

So Semper Fi.

Lance Cpl. Luke Yepsen

Semper Fi

Thats Just the Way It Is.