CELEBRATING THE RESILIENT SPIRIT OF DAVID WHEAT; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 197
(House of Representatives - December 10, 2019)

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From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




            CELEBRATING THE RESILIENT SPIRIT OF DAVID WHEAT

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Stauber) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. STAUBER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Commander David 
Wheat, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war from Minnesota's 
Eighth Congressional District, who is about to celebrate his 80th 
birthday on December 16.
  David grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and graduated from the University 
of Minnesota Duluth before entering the Naval Aviation Officer 
Candidate School and earning the commission of an ensign. In April 
1965, he received his naval flight officer wings and was deployed to 
Vietnam, flying in an F-4B Phantom as a radar intercept officer.
  In October 1965, David was shot down and captured by enemy forces. He 
spent the next 7 years and 4 months as a prisoner of war in various 
camps, including the infamous Hanoi Hilton. Despite the cruel torture 
and inhumane conditions David endured at the hands of his captors, they 
were never able to rob him of his resilient American spirit.
  Following his release from prison, David vowed that he would be happy 
for the rest of his life. David went on to continue a life of service, 
reporting to pilot training and earning his naval aviation wings in 
1975.
  Throughout his career, David flew various types of aircraft and 
retired after 20 years of honorable service. David also got married and 
started a family of his own.
  In my hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, we are incredibly proud to have 
a hero like Commander David Wheat living amongst us. David has been an 
active member of our community, supporting activities and fundraisers 
for various veterans organizations.
  Mr. Speaker, on behalf of every Minnesotan, I thank Commander Wheat 
for his brave service and wish him the happiest of birthdays.


                    Taking a Stand Against Violence

  Mr. STAUBER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the heartbreaking 
trend of violence troubling our Native American communities and 
recognize the Tribal leaders from my district who are taking a stand on 
this issue.
  Native American women in particular face a disproportionately high 
risk of violence. According to one study, the murder rate of Native 
American women is 10 times the national average.
  During my 23 years as a law enforcement officer in northern 
Minnesota, I heard far too many horror stories about trafficked or 
murdered Native American women. Too often, these cases go unresolved.
  These victims and their families deserve action. I was glad to hear 
that President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order 
establishing an interagency task force to review unsolved cases. I was 
especially pleased to see Fond du Lac council member Roger Smith, Fond 
du Lac chairman Kevin Dupuis, and Mille Lacs band chief Melanie 
Benjamin standing alongside our President in the Oval Office as he 
signed this executive order.
  I applaud Minnesota's Tribal leaders for standing united against this 
epidemic of violence, and I remain committed to supporting them in this 
critical mission.

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