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Recognizing Lake County Manager Jeff Cole

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 1, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SPANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mr. Jeff Cole for his 30 years of distinguished service to the citizens of Florida, culminating this year with his retirement as the Lake County manager.

Mr. Cole began his public service career in 1990, supporting the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners. In 1994, he embarked on a 21-year journey with the St. Johns River Water Management District, overseeing intergovernmental affairs and public and media outreach.

His long record of accomplishments brought him to Lake County in 2016, where he took on heightened responsibilities and focused on enhancing government efficiencies and accountability, while improving the quality of life in Lake County.

Through challenges ranging from Hurricane Irma to COVID-19, Mr. Cole remained accessible and demonstrated unwavering leadership and dedication to our community.

Mr. Speaker, I wish Jeff and his wife, Audrey, the very best in the next chapter of their lives together. From the bottom of my heart, I thank Jeff for his commitment to our citizens and the legacy that he is leaving behind. He will be missed. Remembering Specialist Alexander J. Miller

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Mr. SPANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember Specialist Alexander J. Miller, a young soldier who served our Nation in the Armed Forces and was, sadly, killed in combat in Nuristan province, Afghanistan, on July 31, 2009.

Alex attended East Ridge High School in Clermont, Florida and, soon after graduation, enlisted in the U.S. Army, being assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Light Infantry, based in Fort Drum, New York.

Alex hoped to attend the University of Central Florida after completing his tour of duty, but that dream vanished when insurgents attacked his unit.

Miller was awarded two medals posthumously: the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

May his memory and sacrifices be a reminder to all of us of his service and love of country.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the entirety of the Miller family and his community these many years later. Remembering First Lieutenant Ivan D. Lechowich

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Mr. SPANO. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to celebrate the legacy of a local resident and hero of Florida's 15th District, First Lieutenant Ivan Lechowich.

Lieutenant Lechowich was a devoted husband and loving father who served his country in uniform and was, sadly, killed in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on September 28, 2011.

Lieutenant Lechowich graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at King High School, earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 2007, and, after joining the U.S. Army in 2009, deployed to Afghanistan 2 years later.

Ivan was serving as a Sapper Platoon leader for the 515th Sapper Company out of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, when an improvised explosive device took his life.

Ivan was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, and NATO Medal.

To his beloved wife, Jenn; daughter, Natalie Marie; and the rest of the Lechowich family, our district and community still mourns the loss of Ivan these many years later. May his memory and many sacrifices be a reminder of his love for his family and his Nation. Remembering Sergeant Daniel McKinnon Angus

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Mr. SPANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in memory of Sergeant Daniel McKinnon Angus, a local hero in Florida's 15th District, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on January 24, 2010.

Daniel graduated from Armwood High School in 2000 and, in 2003, joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he knew he belonged and hoped to make a career of serving his community and country.

Daniel stood out among his peers and received the Combat Action Ribbon, two Good Conduct Medals, the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and a number of service decorations.

Daniel loved spending time with his wife, Bonnie, and his 1-year-old daughter. Now 11 years old, may she always know and treasure the knowledge of her father's heroism.

Men and women like Daniel who are willing to lay down their lives in defense of our country and in support of others many miles away are what make our Nation the greatest on Earth. Let us never take their sacrifice or that of their surviving families in vain.

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