Mr. Speaker, on Friday, November 4, 2016, a military base in Jafr, Jordan, was attacked. A hail of violent gunfire suddenly rang out while three Americans were returning to base. They were ambushed. After the smoke cleared, three Green Berets from the 5th Special Forces Group were killed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. One of those heroic men was 27-year-old Staff Sergeant James ‘‘Jimmy’’ Moriarty.
To be clear, neither the family nor I is satisfied that we have received all of the facts about the deaths of those three Green Berets, but we do know the facts about Staff Sergeant Moriarty of the United States Army.
Staff Sergeant Moriarty was a Texas native—one of Houston’s own. He was a proud Green Beret. He was scheduled to come home in 2 weeks to spend the holidays with his family. Jimmy was, unquestionably, one of the best. Growing up in Houston, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas. He spoke fluent Arabic—maybe with a Texas accent, Mr. Speaker. As part of the 5th Special Forces Group, he was 3 months into his third tour of duty in Jordan. Upon graduation from the University of Texas, Jimmy made the choice to serve his Nation in the United States Army. He was a volunteer. He was a proud member of the United States Army Special Forces. During his service to America, he earned the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NCO Professional Development ribbon, and an Army Service Ribbon
The brave men of the Green Berets are our Nation’s warriors. They are sent to take on the toughest missions that our Nation faces. From the jungles of Vietnam to the desert sands of the Middle East, they are, as John Wayne once said, America’s best. These men are the warriors our enemies fear. They respond to terrorists and other outlaws to keep America safe throughout the globe. Proudly wearing silver wings on their chests, they are, without question, America’s finest warriors.
Mr. Speaker, in the words of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, another Texan: In times of uncertainty, there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call—a common man with an uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, the Green Beret stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve our country and the American people and to protect their way of life.
Jimmy Moriarty was one of those men.
Moriarty was loved by his two sisters, who incessantly saw to it that their younger brother would be a well-rounded man. It is without a doubt that this distinguished soldier will be missed by his family, his friends, and his community.
We grieve the loss of this American warrior, but we celebrate and honor his life and his service. We are fortunate to have Green Berets like Moriarty standing in support of our country. We are fortunate that a man like Jimmy served this Nation as a volunteer. He stood for the best of those American ideals and values that the Special Forces represent. He was a son of freedom and a son of liberty and a son of Texas. He epitomized everything that is good and right about America.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family and friends and to the other two Green Berets who were killed in Jordan.
On December 5, 2016, taps was played for the last time as Staff Sergeant James Moriarty was buried in the deafening silence of Arlington National Cemetery—next to thousands of other Americans who gave their lives for this great Nation. Jimmy Moriarty was a rare breed. He was the American breed. During World War II, General George Patton said: While we mourn the loss of such men, we should thank God that such men ever lived.
And that is just the way it is.