Honor1Ng 82nd Airborne Hall of Fame Inductee Captain Gerald A. Wolford for His Valorous Service and Sacrifice

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 28, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HUDSON. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Captain Gerald A. Wolford who was inducted into the 82nd Airborne Division's Hall of Fame on September 28, 2022.

The 82nd Airborne Division's Hall of Fame began in 2018 to honor the division's 101 years of legendary service and its members. It honors veteran paratroopers who are nominated for their service within the division, their commitment to the division's values, their contributions to their chosen field outside of their division, or any other valorous combat actions.

A brief look at Cpt. Wolford's career accomplishments only begins to adequately describe the importance of his military service. He served in the 82nd Airborne Division from 2000 to 2006. As a staff sergeant deployed to Iraq in 2003, the gun section of Cpt. Wolford's Company D, 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry came under fire during a river crossing in As-Samawah, Iraq. Unable to suppress with small arms, Cpt, Wolford silenced the position using a non-standard tactical vehicle and anti- tank weapon. He received the Silver Star for demonstrating outstanding valor and personal courage while serving as a Heavy Machine Gun Section Leader during a battalion river crossing in As Samawah, Iraq. As his unit approached the city, a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle, wounding two paratroopers. Cpt. Wolford moved the wounded paratroopers to safety before his vehicle was struck a second time when escorting a dismounted squad to a forward position. Cpt. Wolford continued directing section fires and engaging the enemy when a third rocket-propelled grenade detonated near his truck, and a fourth grenade passed over his head. For his actions, Cpt. Wolford was awarded the Silver Star and selected as the 2003 USO Soldier of the Year. He commissioned into the infantry branch in 2006 and finished his career as an information operations officer at the Department of the Army Headquarters in the Pentagon.

In the words of the former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Gen. Erik Kurilla, ``the All American Hall of Fame is about preserving our legacy and paying homage to our All American Legends.'' Cpt. Wolford's selfless service could not be more deserving of such recognition. I know I speak for all in our community and Nation in thanking Cpt. Wolford for his committed service and leadership in the 82nd Airborne Division and our nation's military more broadly.

Madam Speaker, please join me today in honoring and congratulating Captain Gerald Wolford for his induction to the 82nd Airborne Division's Hall of Fame.