Mr. Speaker, General Douglas MacArthur spoke these words to West Point graduates of what the American soldier should be.
Captain David Fraser, West Pointer, personified these words. For the last year, Captain David Fraser patrolled the vast desert battlefields of war-torn Iraq in search of the enemies of freedom.
This December, his tour of duty was over and he would be coming back to Fort Hood, Texas, to spend Christmas with those he cared about.
But on November 26, 2006, 25-year-old Captain Fraser and three other soldiers were killed in Baghdad by a cowardly enemy using an improvised explosive device called an IED.
Captain Fraser excelled at life. He was a native of Spring, Texas. He attended Westfield High School where he was an honor student and a star cross-country athlete. Twice, he led the team to qualify for the Texas State cross-country meet. His senior year, Captain Fraser led the boy's team to the first cross-country district title in over 19 years. He was voted the most athletic of his senior class at Westfield.
He was a devout Christian who remained active in his faith, whether he be in Texas or West Point, or stationed in lands far, far away. He was always willing to lend a hand at Sunday school or participate in Christian community events. His faith was his cornerstone. Those who knew Captain Fraser knew a man who was respected and admired by all. He was a born leader, always doing the right thing.
Captain Fraser applied to the West Point Military Academy, he said, out of sense of duty and as his way of giving back to a country that provided him with unlimited opportunities. Such powerful words, Mr. Speaker, of patriotism from one of America's finest.
Captain Fraser had a family history of military service. His mother, Helen; his father, Richard; his brother, Patrick, all served in the United States Armed Forces. He wanted to continue that proud tradition at West Point.
At West Point, he ran like the West Texas wind as a member of the cross-country and track teams. Captain Fraser was also a superior student in the classroom. He graduated from that tough academy with honors as the top student in civil engineering. His academic performance promised Captain Fraser a faculty position at West Point during his career.
An accomplished soldier, Captain Fraser completed the rigorous Army Ranger, Airborne, and Air Assault schools. He was relentless in his determination to succeed.
In December 2005, Captain Fraser was deployed to Iraq, assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and commanded several units. Recently, he commanded a combat engineering platoon responsible for locating and disarming mines and other explosive devices implanted along Baghdad roads by insurgents. It was his mission to protect our soldiers and innocent Iraqis from the unseen enemy, the violent militants, the violent anarchists, those who stand against freedom and liberty.
As a decorated serviceman, Captain Fraser was the recipient of the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal for his service while in Iraq during a time of war. He was also awarded the Army Service Ribbon.
For his valor during combat on November 26, Captain Fraser was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Captain Fraser, this photograph I have of him while at West Point, he gave his life for his country, and he will be missed throughout the Spring, Texas, community by those whose lives he positively impacted.
Today Captain Fraser has finally come home to Texas. In fact, he is being buried now, as I speak on the House floor. Taps is being played for this Texas individual, for this committed countryman.
The Fraser family and the Spring, Texas, community will always remember that their son died a hero, serving this great country of ours and defending the basic rights of life and liberty and freedom.
Captain David Fraser lived and died as General MacArthur said, for duty, for honor, for country.
So God bless the Fraser family and God bless David Fraser and God bless all those who wear the uniform of the American warrior.
And that's just the way it is.