HONORING THE LIFE OF REAR ADMIRAL DAVID M. STONE, USN (RET.); Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 183
(House of Representatives - December 08, 2009)

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[Pages H13603-H13604]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Sestak) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SESTAK. Madam Speaker, I rise to honor and mourn the loss of a 
great American. Rear Admiral David M. Stone, United States Navy 
(Retired) recently passed away, and as a result, we are a lesser 
Nation. He was a proud son of Illinois, not the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania, my State, but I am compelled to see that the achievements 
of this remarkable man are forever captured in the record of our 
proceedings because Dave Stone was my shipmate.
  We graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1974 and served 
together as fellow Surface Warfare Officers at sea and ashore for 
nearly three decades. In the course of those years, I witnessed Dave 
Stone consistently offer our Nation all of his enormous talent and 
energy. At the Academy, he led Navy's basketball team with an unmatched 
passion and competitive spirit.

[[Page H13604]]

  Upon commissioning as an ensign, he went to sea with the work ethic, 
sense of responsibility, and selflessness that characterized the very 
best of the graduates of Annapolis, his reputation across the fleet 
reflecting an unfailing dedication to leading sailors from the front, 
by example, and with a total commitment to their personal and 
professional excellence. He never forgot the importance of a sailor's 
family, and he put in countless hours tending to the concerns of the 
parents, wives, and children who sacrifice so much in offering their 
loved ones to the naval service.
  Tactically, his fighting spirit and natural sense of competition 
drove him to constantly press his systems, operators, and 
decisionmakers to outthink and outfight every adversary. When our fleet 
was challenged by serious maintenance concerns, he rolled up his 
sleeves and took charge of the most complex engineering plant the Navy 
had devised. He set a standard for engineering readiness that astounded 
only those who did not know him. As a result, his rise through the 
ranks was deservedly fast.
  Every ship and sailor he served reached new standards of excellence. 
He commanded the USS John Hancock (DD 981), Destroyer Squadron 50, 
NATO's Standing Naval Force Mediterranean, and the USS Nimitz Aircraft 
Carrier Battle Group with skill, courage, and extraordinary 
  He was the officer our Nation needed in the Persian Gulf as that 
theater became increasingly dangerous. He was the surface warrior best 
qualified to support actions in the Adriatic that helped close 
hostilities in Kosovo quickly and favorably. On his promotion to 
admiral, he was an officer with precisely the strategic vision, 
intellect, and sense of the world our Navy and Nation needed to meet 
the challenges of the 21st century.
  Following retirement from the naval service, his patriotism and sense 
of responsibility continued unabated. As the first Federal Security 
Director at Los Angeles International Airport, and later as head of the 
Transportation Security Administration, he helped secure our national 
transportation infrastructure so quickly and so completely that his 
work stands out as one of our government's greatest and most impressive 
post-9/11 achievements.
  However, Dave always considered his greatest achievement the fortune 
to fall in love with and marry his wonderful bride, Cynthia Faith Voth 
of Clearwater, Florida. Together, Dave and Faith represented all that 
was right and good about life in the naval service. They were partners 
and best friends through the joy and pain of countless deployments, 
household moves, and the pressures of ever increasing responsibilities 
for the safety of our Nation's greatest treasure--the young men and 
women who wear the uniform of our military.
  Madam Speaker, I ask that we pause to reflect upon the many 
contributions Admiral Dave Stone made to our country and the world and 
to thank Faith Stone for inspiring her husband to serve us all so 
proudly. Through the pain and frustration of losing this great 
shipmate, everyone who knew, loved, and respected Dave is comforted by 
the fact that today, there are countless Midshipmen at Annapolis who 
will follow his example and seek to model their life on his legacy. 
Therein lies the greatness of the United States Navy and our Nation and 
our shipmate and classmate, Dave Stone.