Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
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] HONORING THE LIFE OF REAR ADMIRAL DAVID M. STONE, USN (RET.) 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 professionalism. 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. ____________________