Mr. Bishop (GA) – Madame Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a brave sailor, dedicated citizen, and a great American, U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer David Blake McLendon, who gave his life for his country.
Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO) McLendon was raised in Thomasville, Georgia. After graduating from Thomas County Central High School in 1998, he answered the call to service by enlisting in the U.S. Navy, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
He was a successful and dedicated naval non-commissioned officer, quickly rising through the ranks. His awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Navy Battle “E” Ribbon (two awards); Navy Good Conduct Medal (three awards); and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
In 2009, McLendon was promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer and served as a Navy cryptologic technician. He was also a Navy SEAL. During his twelve-year Naval career, he served at Norfolk, Virginia and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek, Virginia.
While deployed to Afghanistan, he was one of nine service members tragically killed when their Army Blackhawk helicopter went down in the southern Afghanistan province of Zabul on Sept. 21, 2010.
SCPO McLendon’s death is a great loss to this country, as he was a man of great promise and honor. He was described as a consummate Navy professional by his fellow service members, and was known for his dedication, quick wit, and engaging sense of humor.
His death is also a great loss to his loving family. He is survived by his wife and parents, his brother and sister, his nieces and nephews, and his paternal grandmother.
Madame Speaker, U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer David Blake McLendon made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. His time on this earth was too short. He was a proud American, a brave sailor, and a true family man. In life he was loved and honored, and in death he will be remembered by a greatful nation.