Videos & Speeches

We know over the weekend there were five soldiers killed in Afghanistan. There are five families as of today who would be in this circumstance. I would like to pay tribute to one of those five Sergeant Patrick Hawkins. He was born October 1, 1988. He graduated from high school and enlisted in the Army in his hometown of Carlisle, PA.

Sergeant Patrick Hawkins, according to his Italian commander, was described as a brave and incredibly talented Ranger. The description of his death revolved around the fact that he was moving to aid another wounded Ranger when he was killed. His actions, according to, again, his commander, were in keeping with the epitome of the Ranger creed, which is, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.”

Sergeant Hawkins dedicated himself to serving us—to serving our families, to serving all Americans—and he ultimately paid for that service with the loss of his life. I pay tribute to this soldier as an example of many who have sacrificed in similar ways over a long period of time, but especially for those five who this weekend lost their lives in Afghanistan. Sergeant Hawkins was awarded the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal. He was awarded a Purple Heart. None of that replaces the loss of life. He is survived by his wife, who is a resident of Lansing, KS, and her parents, who are residents of my hometown of Hays, KS.

So today, on behalf of my colleagues in the Senate, I pay tribute to a soldier who in serving his country lost his life, who leaves behind grieving family members and friends, and who epitomizes what we all should know in service here in the Senate, which is what I spoke about earlier on the Senate floor this week. Which was, if we need a reminder about how this place should work, look to our service men and women who, for no partisan reason—no Republican or Democratic reason—volunteered to serve their country, but concluded there were things much more important than life itself, and that being the ability to have a country that we know and enjoy as the United States of America, that has the freedoms and liberties guaranteed to us by our Constitution, and creates the opportunity for every American to pursue what we all call the American dream.

Today, Madam President, I pay tribute to one more hero, one more soldier, one more American, who, through service to others, was willing to sacrifice his life for the betterment of his family back home and for the future of a country that we all love and call home, the United States of America.