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(Senate - May 24, 2012)

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[Page S3616]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         RECOGNIZING GARY BATES

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the exemplary 
citizenship of Gary Bates. This is recognition for a life that has been 
lived and is continuing to be lived well--the kind of honorable life 
that too often goes unrecognized.
  Gary's life has been defined by fighting. He began life in Henderson, 
NV fighting to avoid the challenges of a difficult home. He took this 
fighting spirit into the Marine Corps, where he served honorably until 
1966 when he began an impressive career as a professional heavyweight 
boxer. As a regular name on the Las Vegas strip, he faced off with big 
names like Ken Norton, Ron Lyle and Gerry Cooney. There is nothing to 
idealize about many of the choices he made and paths he took in this 
phase of his life, but what is admirable is how he fought to turn his 
life around. He learned from the mistakes he made, and turned potential 
stumbling blocks into effective stepping stones to a productive life.
  Recognizing a better way of living, Gary settled down by marrying his 
wife Carmen and raising two daughters. But Gary did not stop fighting. 
Finding inspiration in his Catholic faith, he picked up the fight for 
the less fortunate and endangered. Some of Gary's feats border on the 
incredible. He once saved the life of a complete stranger, Charles H. 
Case. While visiting Las Vegas, Charles crashed into an off-ramp rail 
and his car exploded into flames. Luckily for Charles, Gary witnessed 
the crash, broke the front left window and freed his pinned body from 
the enflamed car. Another time, while working in a downtown casino, 
Gary chased a fleeing thief through an alley into another casino and, 
as the police reported, decked him with a single punch to the right 
cheekbone. Gary was never motivated by or sought praise for these 
actions, a fact that is evidenced by many other low-profile acts of 
service. He has donated more than 25 gallons of his blood. 
Additionally, Gary has uniquely compatible blood marrow that he has 
amazingly matched with five non-relatives. He will tell you that of all 
his feats he is most proud of his marrow donation that saved the life 
of a 1-year-old boy.
  I am pleased to recognize my friend Gary Bates and to give him some 
of the praise he has never asked, but certainly deserves. He has said 
he would take a bullet for me, but I think he would take one for anyone 
in need. Even at 67 he exercises daily so that he can be physically, 
not just mentally, ready to meet the call of anyone in distress. He 
continues to be an example to Nevadans and Americans that anyone can 
turn in their boxing gloves or brass knuckles for the work gloves of a 
citizen making our society a better place.