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Honoring Lieutenant Colonel Michael McLaughlin

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Military

Honoring Lieutenant Colonel Michael McLaughlin

Congressman Glenn Thompson
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
24 May 2016

The SPEAKER. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Thompson) for 5 minutes.

Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, my congressional office in Titusville Pennsylvania, participated in a bridge naming service for Lieutenant Colonel Michael McLaughlin of Tionesta, Forest County, located in Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District. Thanks to the efforts of State Representative Kathy Rapp, the bridge was renamed the Lt. Col. Michael McLaughlin/AMVETS Post 113 Memorial Bridge.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael McLaughlin was actually born in Germany, but raised in Forest County. He graduated from the West Forest High School in Tionesta, and later attended Clarion University. It was there he became an ROTC cadet, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1982.

Starting his military career in the Army Reserves, Lieutenant Colonel McLaughlin went on to earn a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and later became the president of his own company in Mercer, Pennsylvania, all while serving in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Throughout his service, he was highly honored, earning many ribbons and medals throughout his 26 years of service.

Unfortunately, Lieutenant Colonel Michael McLaughlin was killed in the line of duty on January 5, 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq, as the result of a suicide bomber. He was just 44 years old, and left behind his wife and two daughters.

McLaughlin was honored posthumously with the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Badge. He was the first field grade officer of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to die in action since World War II.

I was proud to see members of Lieutenant Colonel Michael McLaughlin's community come together to honor him with this bridge naming. It is so fitting that it came in May, the same month as Memorial Day, when we honor the men and women who lost their lives in service to our great Nation.

I am the proud father of an Army soldier. America's servicemen and -women are very important to me. With Memorial Day coming up on Monday, I want to not only recognize the sacrifice of men and women such as Lieutenant Colonel McLaughlin who have given the ultimate sacrifice, but all of the members of our Armed Forces serving across the globe and all of our Nation's veterans.

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