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In Honor Of Private First Class Andrew Harper

Rep. David McKinley

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Mr. Speaker, this past week, all of West Virginia experienced a tremendous loss. 19-year-old Private First Class Andrew Harper died from injuries he sustained while serving our country in Afghanistan. It deeply saddens me to see anyone hurt while serving our country, let alone lose their life such as Private First Class Harper did. Andrew was a dedicated hero who defended our country with the utmost dignity and I am proud to call him a West Virginian.

Andrew, a graduate from University High School, was stationed in Kandahar province when he sustained his fatal injuries during a non-combat incident. This brave young man enrolled in the Army to protect our freedom and our country's fundamental beliefs. The true heroes of our time will be these brave men and women who have stood up for America and defended our freedom.

This young man who was from Maidsville, West Virginia served our country with pride and dignity. He represented our community in that same manner. The admiration our community felt for this young man and his service are immense. Andrew's passing has left so many shocked and distraught. This brave young man's life was so very promising. There is no question that Andrew left a great legacy and his memory should be honored.

Andrew serves as a great example of the American spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with Andrew's mother, Deanna Wells of Middleburg, Florida, his father, Steven Harper of Maidsville, West Virginia, his extended family, friends, and his entire unit, the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment as they continue to protect our freedom in Afghanistan.