[Congressional Record Volume 151, Number 25 (Monday, March 7, 2005)]
[Senate]
[Pages S2143-S2144]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                       HONORING OUR ARMED FORCES


                      corporal travis eichelberger

  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I rise today to honor a truly heroic 
Kansan, CPL Travis Eichelberger.
  Corporal Eichelberger, a member of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd 
Marine Division, was one of the thousands of valiant young men and 
women who fought for the cause of liberty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
Sadly, in March 2003, while lying in a shallow foxhole in the sand, a 
67-ton Abrams tank rolled over him, crushing his pelvis and severely 
damaging his lower body. Corporal Eichelberger, a native of Atchison, 
KS, returned home to the United States for rehabilitation and, in April 
2003, was awarded a Purple Heart for his war injuries.
  Recently, the Marine Corps realized their terrible mistake. While 
this brave young man's wounds occurred in a combat zone, he was not 
injured by hostile fire, a necessary qualification for the Purple 
Heart. For the sake of the award and all those who have been honored by 
it, the Marine Corps decided to revoke Corporal Eichelberger's Purple 
Heart. GEN Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, has 
appropriately personally offered his apologies to Corporal 
Eichelberger. I, too, extend my sincere sympathies to Corporal 
Eichelberger and his family during this trying and confusing time. This 
error has caused significant embarrassment to my fellow Kansan, as well 
as to the Marine Corps, and we must take care that it is never 
repeated.
  After speaking with Corporal Eichelberger, I sense that his is a 
resilient spirit--and no one can doubt his courage. Corporal 
Eichelberger's service and dedication will long be remembered and 
honored. His unwavering commitment to our great Nation is a badge of 
honor he can proudly wear for the rest of his life.
  I commend Corporal Eichelberger for his distinguished service and 
sacrifice.


                 second lt. richard b. ``brian'' gienau

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise today in tribute to a noble Iowan 
who has given his life for his country. 2LT Richard ``Brian'' Gienau 
was killed on Sunday, February 27, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when his 
military vehicle was struck by an explosive device. He was 29 years 
old, a fellow alumnus of my alma mater, the University of Northern 
Iowa, and a member of A Company, 224th Engineer Battalion, Army 
National Guard, Burlington, IA.
  Second Lieutenant Gienau is remembered as a hard-working family man 
with a history of military service. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1994 and 
enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard in 1999. After graduating in 
2003 from University of Northern Iowa, he was commissioned in the 
Reserve Officers' Training Corps as a second lieutenant. He was 
mobilized last October.
  Second Lieutenant Gienau is survived by his mother, Debbee Way, of 
Dunkerton, IA, and his father, Richard Gienau, of Waterloo, IA. He also 
leaves behind a young son. My prayers go out today to his family and 
friends in their time of loss. Let us today remember

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his life as we honor his sacrifice on behalf of all of us. We are 
forever in his debt.

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