It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of a true patriot, as well as a tremendous friend and supporter of the United States Army, Congressman John P. Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District. A 19 term Member of the House of Representatives, Congressman Murtha was an ardent and dedicated supporter of the United States Army and our Soldiers. From his position as a member of, and most recently the Chairman, of the Appropriations Sub-committee for Defense, Congressman Murtha dedicated his life to the resourcing of our Army, ensuring that funds were dedicated to Soldier and Family Programs, the care of our Wounded Warriors, the support of our hospitals, ensuring that we could procure the best equipment for our Soldiers, and offering unqualified support of our Modernization efforts. He was instrumental in ensuring that throughout the past eight years of war, our Army always had the resources to fight and win, not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but throughout the world.

The first Vietnam War Veteran to be elected to the House of Representatives, Congressman Murtha was a tireless advocate for our Soldiers. He travelled extensively, visiting Army units all over the world, with many recent visits to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Everywhere he went, he sought out the opinions and viewpoints of our Soldiers, and always took their issues to heart; he provided valuable feedback to the Army and always placed Soldier's interests first. Our Army is the best in the world because of his support.

To Joyce, his wife of 55 years, and his children Donna, Pat, and John, we offer the condolences of the entire Army family on your loss. We mourn with you as we honor the accomplishments and memory of one of the Army's greatest friends.