Mr. President, I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to Col. Brian Dubie, a fifth-generation Vermonter who is retiring on June 2 after a long and distinguished career in the Vermont Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. Brian served as Vermont's 78th Lieutenant Governor and has devoted his life to serving his State and his country.
Upon graduating high school in Essex Junction, Brian enrolled in the U.S. Air Force Academy. Even though the flight he took to Colorado was his first time on an airplane, Brian already knew that he loved aviation. Growing up, his father an officer in the Vermont Guard would bring the family to watch the planes take off and land from Burlington. Those excursions made vivid and lasting impressions on young Brian.
When he returned home to attend the University of Vermont, Brian joined the Vermont Air National Guard and flew F 4s and then F 16s, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1998, he joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve where he now holds the rank of colonel and serves as an emergency preparedness liaison officer.
Brian's service has touched thousands of Americans outside of Vermont. Following the September 11 attacks, Brian procured and coordinated the distribution of badly needed cell phones and radios for emergency responders at Ground Zero. For his actions he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal. When Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast in 2005, Brian mobilized and ensured that civilian responders had the support they needed. For his achievements at the Hurricane Operations Center, he earned another Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
Admirable as they are, Brian's achievements are not surprising considering his roots in a family who values service and duty to country. His mother Janice worked as an operating room nurse at what was then the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont. His father Clem was a colonel in the Vermont Guard where he served full-time as a personnel officer. His brother Michael is the adjutant general of Vermont.
Brian is also a tireless promoter of the Vermont business community. He was the motivational force behind the Vermont Aerospace and Aviation Association. He also served as the unofficial Vermont ``ambassador'' to Quebec a position he took on with such fervor that some Quebec officials called him Mr. Ambassador.
I am proud of all that Brian has accomplished for Vermont and our country. While he may be retiring from the Air Force, I know that his service to both State and Nation is far from over. I wish him, his wife Penny, and his family all the best.
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