Friday, March 28, 2014

McCarthy: Sgt. 1st Class Robert Keiser personified the American hero

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:

"This week was another special week for Kern County. I had the honor of presenting the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously to Sergeant First Class Robert Keiser for outstanding service and heroism during the Korean War.

 "Sergeant First Class Keiser resided in Randsburg, CA with his wife, Pamela, until he passed away in 2009. He was a member of the U.S. Army’s Second Indianhead Infantry Division. On November 30, 1950, he and his division approached a major roadblock of damaged and abandoned American vehicles. Under constant enemy fire, Sergeant First Class Keiser swept forward and personally cleared the roadblock vehicle by vehicle. He loaded the dead and wounded aboard vehicles that could still run and commanded those around him to drive to friendly lines. In a battle that would become known as “The Gauntlet,” Sergeant First Class Keiser’s actions were undoubtedly a decisive factor in saving hundreds of lives.

"Sergeant Keiser was not just a Randsburg cowboy, he was an American hero.
 "Also in Washington, a new statue was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. What makes this unique is that the person who designed and sculpted this piece was born in Taft and raised in Bakersfield. But in addition to that, this is his second statue that is now displayed in the U.S. Capitol.

 "It was great to see and catch up with Benjamin Victor this week when he stopped by my office. His latest work is a statue of agricultural hero Norman Borlaug, which is one of the two statues in the Capitol for the State of Iowa. Many of us in Kern County know his work in Taft when he sculpted the Taft Oil Workers Monument that was unveiled during the city’s centennial celebration.  And now, hundreds of thousands of visitors in the Capitol each year will also know Ben, who has the distinct honor of being the only living sculptor to have two sculptures in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol (his other being the statue of Paiute activist Sarah Winnemucca for the State of Nevada).

 "Our community is a special place with tremendous people and this week, all of America got to see it.

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