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(Senate - May 24, 2012)

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[Page S3622]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. HELLER. Mr. President, I am so proud to rise today to honor a 
Nevadan whom I have known for my entire life and who has my utmost 
admiration and respect. It is with great pleasure to recognize my 
brother, Bryan Heller, as he retires from the U.S. Navy after 20 years 
of service to his State and country. On June 1, 2012, he will enter the 
next chapter of his life, and I am thrilled to see what he will 
accomplish next. On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank Bryan for his 
many years of faithful, selfless service and extend heartfelt 
congratulations on the occasion of his retirement.
  Bryan began his naval career while studying civil engineering at 
Brigham Young University. In 1992, he entered the Navy in the Nuclear 
Propulsion Officer Candidate Program and was later commissioned at 
Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. Bryan successfully completed 
the rigorous nuclear pipeline and submarine school and subsequently 
reported to the USS Georgia, where he earned his gold dolphins and 
qualified as nuclear engineer officer.
  Over the course of his career, Bryan and his family moved across the 
country to respond to his next call of duty. Returning to his civil 
engineering roots, he transferred to the Civil Engineering Corps, CEC, 
where he experienced his first CEC tour aboard the NAS Oceana and 
became registered as a professional engineer. He also earned his master 
of science in civil engineering from the University of Texas. In 2007, 
Bryan reported to Commander, U.S. Naval forces Central Command, where 
he headed the Navy's construction program in Bahrain, United Arab 
Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, and Lebanon.
  Currently serving as the desert operation officer, Bryan leads the 
Desert Integrated Product Team, which supports Navy bases outside of 
San Diego and Ventura County. Bryan continues to be an incredible asset 
to the naval community, and I know it will be difficult to replace him. 
Throughout his career, Bryan has been extensively decorated, 
exemplifying his strong work ethic and commitment to serve. He has been 
awarded three Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps 
Commendation Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
  Today, it is also my distinct honor to recognize and express my 
gratitude to Bryan's family--his wife, Kristi, and children, Natascha, 
Heidi, Josef, and Jakob. Their strength during times when their family 
was apart embodies the resilience that makes our military communities 
strong. I constantly find myself in awe of the sacrifices and efforts 
that have been made by our military families. Each and every deployment 
causes great stress and a burden of separation that every member of 
these families experience. We must remember that these families serve 
as the backbone for the men and women who wear the uniform of our armed 
services, and they deserve our support. The invaluable sacrifices of 
our servicemembers and their families are debts that can never fully be 
  I am proud to honor my brother today and recognize his accomplished 
career in the U.S. Navy. On the eve of this Memorial Day holiday 
weekend, we must recognize all our brave servicemembers and their 
commitment to our country. It is with great appreciation that I ask my 
colleagues to stand with me in honoring Bryan's service to our Nation 
as he moves onto the next phase of his life.