Statements and Speeches
Statement in the Congressional Record
Mar 17 2005
Mr. President, I would like to set aside a few moments today to reflect on the life of Stephen McGowan. Steve epitomized the best of our country's brave men and women who fought to free
A 1996 graduate of St. Mark's High School, Steve was the son of Ms. Bobbie McGowan, a personal friend of my family. Steve then attended the
Steve enlisted on September 17, 2002, and was selected for combat medic training, which he pursued with distinction at the U.S. Army Medical School at Sam Houston, Texas.
Before being deployed to
He died when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle in
Steve was a highly regarded young soldier. He joined the military in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom because he felt that as a single person with no children, he could go and take someone else's spot. His family remembers him as the embodiment of pride, honor and dignity. He was admired by every man and woman he worked with and every commanding officer with whom he served. According to his sister, Michaela, “Steve was raised with the values that you find in the military and he lived them. Steve touched so many lives and I'm so proud of the man he became.”
Despite the close calls and the fact
In one e-mail, he said that Iraqi girls had become entranced by the sight of some Beanie Baby dolls the soldiers handed out. The story so touched his mother, Bobbie McGowan, that she organized a Beanie Baby drive at the Charter School of Wilmington, where she is dean of humanities. Students reacted so positively to her request for the dolls that she was swamped with them. Students donated so many dolls that she had to send them to her son in small lots because he did not have room to store them all. His mother, Bobbie, takes comfort in the fact that her son had not only saved lives in Iraq as a medic but that he had also touched many more lives by passing out toys to children. This was a true testament to the kind of soldier – the kind of man – Steve was.
He was a soccer, biking, and outdoor enthusiast and will be remembered especially for his rugby adventures with the
This tragedy strikes particularly close to home. Stephen's mother, Bobbie, is a highly regarded member of the faculty at the Charter School of Wilmington, where our sons attend high school. Steve's death is a terrible blow to his family and a source of deep sorrow for those of us privileged to know his family.
I rise today to commemorate Steve, to celebrate his life, and to offer his family our support and our deepest sympathy on their tragic loss.