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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman honored the life and service of Master Sergeant Gregory Childs who died in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman recognized the sacrifice of MSG Childs, a graduate of Warren High School, who served our country across the globe including two tours in Afghanistan.

Boozman paid tribute to the sacrifice of MSG Childs and his family and highlighted the importance for all Americans to show their patriotism through their support of our men and women in uniform.

The following is Boozman’s speech as prepared for delivery.  

As the son of a Master Sergeant in the Air Force, I grew up in a family that had values rooted in military tradition and patriotism but you don’t have to be from a military family to love our country. 

We are encouraged to have a sense of American pride in our daily lives. I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing patriotic songs that reflect our love of our country. Students continue to do this and learn these values passed down from
generations of Americans before us.

We have special days that recognize the people and the symbols important to our country. Two weeks ago we celebrated Flag Day and next week we celebrate Independence Day. 

The three weeks between these patriotic holidays is known as Honor America Days. You most likely won’t find this on your calendar, but Congress established these days and adopted it into U.S. code to encourage gatherings and activities that celebrate and honor our country.

While these days are not widely recognized, one of the ways Americans demonstrate our devotion to our country is by supporting our men and women in uniform. 

These troops have made enormous sacrifices to defend our country and our interests across the globe. These heroes are a shining example of the spirit, commitment and bravery of our nation. 

During my time in Congress I have had opportunities to travel and meet with our troops across the globe and thank them for their sacrifices to make our world better. These men and women are always in my thoughts and prayers. I thank our military personnel and our veterans for their valiant service and offer my sympathy to those families
whose loved ones have given their all in defense of our nation.

This includes the family of Arkansas soldier Army Master Sergeant Gregory Childs. MSG Childs died on May 4, 2012 while serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His family and the community of Warren, Arkansas paid their respects to their father, son, brother and friend in a moving ceremony in May. 

MSG Childs graduated from Warren High School in 1992. He considered it an honor serve his country in the military. For 20 years, he served this country in locations around the globe from Bosnia, Germany, Columbia and two tours to Afghanistan. He excelled
through the ranks of the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps and earned one of the
highest ranks he could attain. 

I ask my colleagues to keep his family – especially his young daughter Kourtlan – and his friends in their thoughts and prayers during these difficult times. I humbly offer my
appreciation and gratitude to this patriot for his selfless sacrifice. 

As the home to thousands of active duty military personnel and even more veterans, Arkansas has experienced more than its share of grief and sacrifice for loved ones who serve our country. 

Our state has a rich history of service to our nation. Troops stationed in Arkansas have served our country honorably even before it was admitted to the Union. Our men and women have always been willing to do their part to serve and protect. Our troops stationed in Arkansas and our military facilities at the Little Rock Air Force Base and the 188th Fighter Wing are some of the best assets of our military. Arkansas’ active duty personnel and National guards have time and again proven their dedication, perseverance and commitment to excellence in defending this country. 

As we plan our Independence Day celebrations, let us remember the servicemen and women who embody the ideals that make our country great. I know my fellow Arkansans share my gratitude and appreciation for our military personnel and their families who sacrifice at home while their loved ones are away.
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