Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Sen. Kaufman Recognizes Great Federal Employees -- Pentagon Force Protection Agency Officers, Marvin Caraway, Jr., Jeffrey Amos, & Colin Richards

March 19, 2010

Mr. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, I rise once more to highlight some of our Nation's outstanding Federal employees. I have spoken before about those who, in serving our Nation, place their lives in danger in order to protect others. On March 4, a lone gunman opened fired near the main entrance to the Pentagon, wounding two security officers before being quickly subdued. These two officers and a third who assisted them provide an example of the bravery and excellence of Federal employees, and especially Federal employees in law enforcement who take risks every day.

   These three men all worked for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, which oversees security for the Defense Department's headquarters as well as several other Defense facilities in the Washington area. It was created after the attacks of September 11, 2001, to provide comprehensive threat prevention for one of the buildings targeted on that fateful day. Like those serving in other law enforcement and security agencies, the men and women of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency undergo rigorous training. Many are veterans of the Armed Forces or have worked previously as police officers for States and municipalities. They train to be ready at a moment's notice for scenarios they pray will never come. Often these security officers will stand at a checkpoint for hours at a time at the ready during days and weeks and months of quiet.

    As a youth, I worked two summers as a lifeguard in Philadelphia, and we always used to say it was hours of boredom interspersed with seconds of sheer terror. Well, sheer terror happened for these great Federal employees. For these three officers from the Pentagon Force Protection Agency such a moment came just before 7 o'clock in the evening of March 4, 2010.

   Officers Marvin Caraway, Jr. and Colin Richards were standing guard at the main entrance to the building--the Pentagon--when a suspicious figure approached. Marvin sensed something was amiss, so he walked toward him to check out his identification. When the man pulled a gun from his jacket and began firing, one of the bullets grazed Marvin's thigh. Undeterred, he held his ground and fired back. Later, his fellow officer would tell reporters that Marvin was like ``Superman''--``a man of steel.''

   Colin ducked behind a barricade and began to return fire. Hearing the shots, a third officer, Jeffrey Amos, ran over from his post nearby and joined the effort to subdue the gunman. In the process, he was wounded in the shoulder. The whole incident took only a minute and the three officers fatally shot the assailant.

   The quick reaction and undeterred professionalism of these three are inspiring. All brought to the job a strong background in law enforcement and public service. Marvin, who lives in Clinton, MD, is a former marine, who served in the first Persian gulf war, and has experience protecting our embassies overseas. Jeffrey, from Woodbridge, VA, is a retired member of the Air Force Reserve. He spent 11 years in the New Orleans Police SWAT team.

   Colin, who resides in Arlington, VA, recalled how his experience and training prepared him to act quickly. He said: ``My vision was big; my hearing--I could hear everything. When the shooter started running, he looked like a big target. At that point I felt like I couldn't miss.''

   Federal security officers, such as Marvin, Jeffrey, and Colin, are our modern-day ``Minutemen''--trained and ready to keep us safe from threats to our liberty and security. We owe all of them our constant appreciation.

   I must add that we see the same dedication and professionalism right here each day in our very own Capitol Police force as well. I know how proud Majority Leader Reid is of his own service as a Capitol Police officer when, as a young man, he stood guard at one of the entrances to this building.

   I hope my colleagues will join me in thanking Marvin Caraway, Jr., Jeffrey Amos, and Colin Richards for their bravery and a job well done--as well as all those who serve as Federal security officers standing at the ready. They are reminders of our great Federal employees.

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