WASHINGTON, January 22 -
In a remote region of Algeria at an oil and gas facility, in the dark of night before the sun rose, workers from all over the world were getting ready to sit down for breakfast when suddenly gun-wielding Islamic radicals stormed the facility.
Some of the workers were killed; some were able to escape; some were taken hostage. One of the hostages killed in this attack was a member of my congressional district, Victor Lovelady.
Victor was a native of southeast Texas. He was originally from Nederland, Texas, a town of primarily hardworking, blue collar folks centered around the energy industry. Victor had recently moved to Atascocita, Texas, his home not far from where I live. He was 57 years of age.
When he died, he was on a contract assignment for ENGlobal, an energy company in Algeria. According to his family, Victor waited to take that contract until his children had finished school so he could attend their sporting events. This was not surprising for someone who was described as a ``dedicated family man and a fantastic coworker.'' Although it was hard to be so far away from his family, Victor was excited to take the contract assignment so he could ensure a secure future for his family. That's just the kind of father and husband he was.
The deal for this contract was 28 days on, 28 days off, and he was just 10 days in with only 18 days left to go. He was scheduled to come home to Texas the day after his daughter's birthday. His life was stolen by those who seek to destroy Americans, the radicals who inflict terror on all who believe in freedom.
Victor is survived by a loving family, including his wife, Maureen; daughter, Erin; and their son, Grant. Over the holidays, the close Lovelady family expressed concern for the safety of Victor, but he reassured them saying, ``It's so safe. We have protection.'' It's hard for people to understand such unspeakable evil.
I spoke with Victor's brother, Mike, throughout the crisis and as did Congressman Randy Weber. Yesterday, after we heard the terrible news, Mike told me:
I can associate with my brother getting in a car wreck or having cancer. But terrorism and Nederland, Texas, don't go together.
He was described as ``a great family man and a fantastic coworker'' and ``a leader who mentored countless individuals during his tenure.'' He was also known for his spontaneous wit. Victor moved from Nederland, Texas, to Atascocita to be closer to work, but he went back and forth so that his children could finish school there.
Mr. Speaker, Victor was killed not just because of what he did; he was killed because of who he was. He was killed because he was an American. A radical Islamic al Qaeda group by the name of the Signatories in Blood claimed responsibility for this terrorist attack, those who seek to destroy us and kill indiscriminately.
They hate us for who we are and what we stand for. Diplomacy is not in their vocabulary.
Two other Americans were also killed in this attack. Their names were Gordon Lee Rowan of Sumpter, Oregon, and Frederick Buttaccio of Katy, Texas.
The Algerian military retook the compound after 3 days, and they found that 34 other hostages had been killed, as well as dozens of terrorists.
Mr. Speaker, our thoughts, prayers, and concerns are with the Lovelady, Rowan, and Buttaccio families today.
Secretary Panetta said that America must respond to these murders. That is correct. We should go after these killers who have malice and evil in their hearts, that kill Americans because they are Americans. That would be justice, and justice is what we do in this country.
And that's just the way it is.