TRIBUTE TO SERGEANT FIRST CLASS TOMMY SHOEMAKER; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 156
(Senate - December 06, 2012)

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            TRIBUTE TO SERGEANT FIRST CLASS TOMMY SHOEMAKER

 Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I rise today to honor a true 
American hero. During a parade honoring our veterans on November 15, 
2012, in Midland, TX, four of veterans lost their lives when their 
float was tragically struck by an oncoming train. Sixteen other 
veterans were also injured.
  That day, SFC Tommy Shoemaker was among the veterans being honored 
for their service, and his float was directly ahead of the one struck. 
Upon witnessing this tragedy, SFC Shoemaker jumped from his float that 
was traveling 40MPH. He, his fellow veterans, and other soldiers began 
immediately assisting those injured. Prior to ambulances arriving, they 
provided CPR and life-saving aid to stabilize those injured. SFC 
Shoemaker's selfless act of heroism not only saved lives but also is a 
testament to the special forces training he received.
  SFC Shoemaker entered the military in 1986 and later served in the 
Army Reserves in Monroe, LA, and also the Mississippi National Guard. 
In 2004, he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of an Embedded 
Transition Team. Unfortunately, his convoy unit was attacked twice in 
2005 and again in 2006, the last a combination of road side bombs and 
an ambush. The incident left SFC Shoemaker severely injured and forced 
him to return home.
  Since, SFC Shoemaker has been working as an Associate Administrator 
at the Northeast Louisiana War Veterans Home, a position he held prior 
to deployment. He also lends his time at the American Legion, the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, and the 
Office of Public Health. He does all of this with permanent 
disabilities to 90 percent of his body, as a loving husband to his wife 
Pam, and their four daughters, Malissa, Kayla, Suzie, and Sierra.
  It is my privilege and honor to recognize SFC Tommy Shoemaker for his 
bravery and courage and for his service to the United States of 
America.

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