Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a man who has given to his country 35 years of distinguished service. I rise to honor a man who has given to God, country, family, and community, and who I believe exemplifies all that is best in the American people. This week Vice Adm. Timothy Wright will be retiring from the U.S. Navy, and all who served under him, or who worked with him, as I did, wish Admiral Wright well, congratulate him, and want to know how much he will be sorely missed.
Emerson once said that what people say about you behind your back is the measure of your standing in society. Mr. Speaker, the words that have been said about Admiral Wright behind his back include: honest, decent, a gentleman, hard working, loyal, dedicated, courageous. From the time he entered the Navy in 1961, through his tours of duty as commander of a carrier air wing, commander of the 7th fleet, and Chief of Naval Education and Training, to his work in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Admiral Wright has shown a standard of excellence and dedication to duty that marks him out as a singularly able and distinguished man of intellect, skill and integrity.
Admiral Wright made a career that showed him to be one of the Navy's finest--the best of the best. For anybody who doubts that, look at the record: Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal. The list goes on and on, and its testimony to a man that has given to his country an example of excellence for which we should all strive.
Now Admiral Wright will be retiring, returning to the wife and children that he loves, making up for the lost hours that a distinguished career in the Navy requires of its best and brightest. He has earned a period of R and R, as they say in the Navy, though I'll bet that he will not spend his free time sitting around the house watching game shows, and that retirement will not mean the end of an active life. Men of such dedication and nobility are not the kind of people to, if the Admiral will not mind me quoting a General, ``simply fade away.''
So, I join the people of the United States, of the Navy, and of my district in Florida, in wishing Admiral Wright a hearty congratulations and thanks for a job well done and a life well lived. May the years ahead bring him continued good health and happiness, and may Admiral Wright go into the next stage of his life secure in the knowledge that he has made a difference, both to those who know him and even to those who do not. The Navy is a better organization for his having served in it. Godspeed Admiral Wright; I wish for fair winds and following seas.
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