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Congressman Lou Frey, Jr. Biography

Lou Frey’s service to our Country began in 1955 when he joined the U.S. Navy. He was on active duty until 1958, and continued his military career in the Navy Reserve until 1978, retiring as a Captain. His life in politics and public service began in 1961 as an Assistant County Solicitor in Orange County, Florida. Since that time, he has served the people of Florida in many different capacities, including five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a member of the Republican House Leadership in the 93rd and 94th Congresses. In his last campaign he received nearly 80% of the vote in a Democratic district. He was also a candidate in Florida for Governor and Senator.

Because of his vision and leadership, when it became apparent in the early 1970’s that McCoy Air Force Base would be closed, Congressman Frey successfully appealed to President Nixon to let the City of Orlando take over the property for $1.00 and turn it into a commercial airfield, now the Orlando International Airport.

Frey graduated cum laude from Colgate University in 1955 with Honors in English. He graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan Law School in 1961, was a member of the Order of the Coif, the Barristers, and Assistant Editor of the Law Review. During his distinguished legal career he has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Florida, the District Court of the Middle District of Florida, the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Congressman Frey is past president of The United States Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC) and a member of its Executive Committee. In 2009, the Association named Congressman Frey as the recipient of its Distinguished Service Award. The Award recognizes a former Member of Congress who has shown an exemplary dedication to public service before, during, or after his or her time on Capitol Hill. Past recipients include Gerald Ford, Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Bob Dole, and George Mitchell.

Frey is a partner in the law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed in Orlando, Florida. He has edited and written two books on the Congress: Inside the House: Former Members Reveal How Congress Really Works and Political Rules of the Road: Representatives, Senators and Presidents Share their Rules for Success in Congress, Politics and Life.

He is the founder of the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida which over the last 10 years, has become one of the most important Institutes in the nation and recognized internationally. The Lou Frey Institute promotes the development of enlightened, responsible, and actively-engaged citizens.

He is married to the former Marcia Turner and has five children and seven grandchildren.

Memorial Day 2012 The Frey Report

by Congressman Lou Frey

I have the privilege of being the keynote speaker at the 62nd Annual Woodlawn Memorial Day Service whose purpose is remembering our war dead and all Veterans who have died since their service. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, America’s Wars deaths total is 1,190,110 (from 1775 to 1991). The total is comprised of: 651,031 battle deaths, 308,800 other deaths in theater, and 230,279 other deaths in service (non-theater). At least 500,000 of the deaths resulted from our Civil War (1861 to 1865). In the ongoing Global War on Terror (GWOT), the U.S. Department of Defense death totals (October 7, 2001 – May 24, 2012) for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) are 4,409; for Operation New Dawn (OND) 66; and for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 1,968.

For those of you reading this who are not Americans, Memorial Day is primarily to honor those who died in military service. This All-American remembrance has its roots in the practice of women decorating the graves of their loved ones who had died in the Civil War, and was originally called “Decoration Day.” In 1868 Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued General Order Number 11 designating May 30th as Memorial Day. The first national celebration of the holiday took place May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery, where both Confederate and Union soldiers were buried. In 1971 when I was in Congress, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday to be held on the last Monday in May of every year.

I had the privilege a few years ago to visit the Normandy American Cemetery in France which is situated on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Chanel. The cemetery is 172.5 acres and is one of the 14 permanent American WWII military cemeteries constructed on foreign soil by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The cemetery contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead (many under 20 years of age), most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations.

The setting is incredible. When you look out from the cliff over Omaha Beach you cannot imagine anyone having the courage to get out of their landing craft and move over the beach and up towards the German guns. Time after time, and place after place, in our Country and around the world, our servicemen and servicewomen have performed incredible acts of bravery and sacrifice. We must remember that we have a heritage that goes back to places like Bunker Hill, Yorktown, Gettysburg, Okinawa, France, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan to name just a few.

I recently received a letter from the Institute on WWII and the Human Experience at Florida State University. It is a letter from a captain in the US Marines to the mother of his friend Tommy Thomas who was killed in action and had lived in Florida. The letter in part says:

“I feel certain you have been informed that it was his platoon who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945. But perhaps you didn’t know that, when his platoon lieutenant was wounded on Feb 21st, “Tommy” took command of the platoon and fearlessly led them forward. In fact, when his rifle failed to function, he discarded it and was seen charging the enemy with only a knife and a grenade.”

“During the later days of February he was called to a Flagship for a radio broadcast and press interviews - but on March 1st when he heard his company was again moving to the front, he insisted on returning to his platoon. He arrived at the company a few minutes after we had moved into the attack, and skillfully and courageously led his platoon until the morning of March 3rd, when he was instantly killed by enemy rifle fire. At the time he was hit he was talking on his platoon telephone - reporting information to the company command post.”

“In closing, I should like to say I know of no more appropriate praise than that “Tommy” was indeed a credit to his parents who raised him, and it was an honor to have had such a man in my command.”

Signed Dave E. Severance, CoE,
28th Marines,
5th Marine Division

This letter is just one of thousands, written by those who survived to families of those who did not. These personal remembrances bring statistics to life and remind us of freedom’s cost.