Rep. Burchett honors Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives

September 21, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 21, 2021) – Today, U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (TN-02) spoke on the House floor in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, who was killed in the Aug. 26 terrorist attack outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.  

“Outside that airport is where Staff Sgt. Knauss would selflessly give his life so civilians could escape to safety,” said Rep. Burchett. “He was out there helping complete strangers, but this wasn’t out of character for him. He loved helping people, and he died doing it.” 

Rep. Burchett’s full tribute to Staff Sgt. Knauss are available below. You can also watch the speech by clicking here.  

Rep. Burchett’s remarks as delivered: 

This is a photo of United States Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss. He was one of the 13 servicemembers killed outside Kabul’s airport on Aug. 26.  

Staff Sgt. Knauss grew up where I live currently in Corryton, Tennessee. He always dreamed of joining the American military and did so after graduating from Gibbs High School.  

When the Taliban rapidly took control of Afghanistan last month, it created a dangerous situation for American citizens and our allies in the country. In response, our military ramped up its presence at Hamid Karzai International Airport to assist with evacuation efforts. Staff Sgt. Knauss, who previously served a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan, volunteered to go back for this mission.   

Outside that airport is where Staff Sgt. Knauss would selflessly give his life so civilians could escape to safety. He was there helping complete strangers, but this wasn’t out of character for him. He loved helping people, and he died doing it.  

Following his death, Staff Sgt. Knauss returned home to East Tennessee for a memorial service on Sept. 11. Hundreds from our community lined the procession route in honor of his heroism. And this afternoon, at Arlington National Cemetery, Staff Sgt. Knauss was laid to rest.  

Look one more time at this picture with me. This is what a true American hero looks like. It’s not somebody that dribbles a basketball, or hits a baseball, or throws a football, or acts, or sings on stage. Remember the last American military casualty from the War in Afghanistan. Remember Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss.