Honoring Sergeant Eric Lund -- Hon. Dan Benishek

Floor Speech

Date: June 4, 2015
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Veterans

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of Sergeant Eric Lund, a true American hero, as well as the community that banded together to help serve one of their neighbors who sacrificed so much in defense of our freedom.

Sergeant Eric Lund joined the U.S. Army National Guard in 2003 after graduating from Ludington High School. He served with the 126th C Company as a gunner atop a Military All-Terrain Vehicle, and was in Afghanistan when he was injured in May 2012 as a result of a roadside IED. The explosion resulted in serious injuries including the loss of both arms.

Eric spent over two years enduring numerous surgeries during his rehabilitation in San Antonio, Texas. However, he knew his goal was to be back home in Ludington--near friends, family, and the water. Returning home for Eric also meant living an active lifestyle that include biking, being outdoors, and most importantly, being able to live independently and tackle everyday tasks on his own.

That dream became a reality as a result of an outpouring of support from the Ludington community and the ``Helping a Hero'' organization.

As part of the their first Michigan project, ``Helping a Hero,'' working with Malliet Construction, built Eric a new home featuring adaptive technology to allow for independent living tools like voice activation and a shower with scrubbers. Donations from the Ludington community came in various forms--from money to materials and labor. There are so many people to thank for making this project a reality for Eric, and I will be proud to join them all on June 8, 2015 for the neighborhood ``Welcome Home'' ceremony.

As our nation's heroes return home, we must welcome them back and recognize the sacrifices they made protecting our freedoms and way of life. As the Ludington community has proven, we can and must help serve these brave men and women. So long as there are soldiers like Sergeant Eric Lund fighting for us, we can never forget that the cost of freedom is high.