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Cotton Speaks on the Senate Floor in Support of Naming a Hot Springs Post Office after Arkansas Hero Adam Brown

October 23, 2016

"Today the United States Senate will pass legislation renaming Post Office 620 Central Avenue in Hot Springs National Park after Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown. I have driven through that post office many times as a child, as a Congressman, and as a Senator. I can't say there is all that much remarkable about it, but it will be remarkable after this law is passed.

I didn't know Adam Brown, but Adam was about my age. Adam was a great warrior and a hero. Three years ago on Memorial Day in Hot Springs, a gentleman came up to me after I spoke and handed me a book called Fearless, by Eric Blehm, a New York Times Bestseller. It was the story of Adam Brown. The title captured his sprit; he was fearless, he was relentless, but he was also a joyful, Godly man.

Even as a child in Hot Springs, he was the one who would always line up to hit the biggest kid in football. He would jump off a bridge into a local lake, and jump out of trucks. Adam was an all-American boy.

In his teenage years though, Adam succumbed to addiction. He began to drink, started to use marijuana, and became addicted to cocaine. That led to many crimes. At one point he had sixteen felonies outstanding. Larry and Adam's mother, Janice, didn't know what to do, so they told the sheriff where he was and let him be arrested. Adam went to Teen Challenge, a Christian ministry dedicated to helping youth overcome addiction, and through his faith in God, his love of his parents, and the love of his wife Kelly, he was able to fight back his addiction though he continued to struggle with it.

And, with the help of a good recruiter and out of a sense of deep and abiding patriotism to his country, Adam cleaned up his life by enlisting in the Navy. He didn't just enlist to do any job though, he enlisted to be a Navy SEAL, some of the hardest training that our military has. Adam of course got his golden trident, and he went on to display the same kind of fearlessness and relentlessness, but also the same joyfulness that so many people in Hot Springs and in Arkansas had known.

As anyone who has been in the military knows, there are always some guys in the unit looking on the dark side of things and wondering what's going to go wrong next. Adam was the anecdote to that. He always looked on the bright side, he always had a sunny outlook, and he always had a helpful word for a friend or buddy. He was always ready to help the unit accomplish the mission. He went through multiple deployments as a Navy SEAL, and there was never any quit in Adam.

In 2003, he was injured in a training exercise by a simulation round, a kind of miniature paintball that the military uses. It somehow got underneath his eye protection and it hit him in the eye. And he lost his eye. But as he always did, he looked on the bright side. He got a glass eye with an Arkansas Razorback on it, and he played pirate with a pirate patch with his two little kids: Nathan and Savannah. And it didn't stop him from continuing to deploy as a Navy SEAL.

He later was involved in a multi-car accident while deployed. His hand was crushed and three fingers were severed. The doctors were able to reattach them, but they could no longer be used. And of course he was eligible to leave the military because of his combat injury, but he didn't do that. He learned to shoot with the other hand, and shoot with the other eye. In fact, he went on to become a member of SEAL Team Six, the most elite element of the Navy SEAL community. He continued to deploy and fight, but also to show deep compassion. In Afghanistan he noticed how many of the poor little Afghan children didn't even have shoes on their feet in the darkest and coldest days of winter, so he arranged for a local pastor and his community to send shoes that he could give to them.

On March 17, 2010 Adam was on a mission high up in the mountains in Afghanistan, and his unit came under intense enemy fire. Adam helped save the lives of his fellow SEALS, taking multiple rounds himself, and ultimately perishing as a result of his wombs. Adam received a hero's welcome in Hot Springs where he rests today. Adam's story is a story of faith, redemption, service, and love. When little boys and little girls drive by that post office in Hot Springs in the future, I hope they ask their parents who Adam Brown was. I hope their parents can tell them his story and inspire them with his example."