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Republican Member of Congress Announces Horrible Family Tragedy

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The eldest daughter of Republican Rep. Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin died following a battle with cancer, he announced on Tuesday.

In a statement released on social media, the retired Navy SEAL announced his daughter Sydney had lost her battle with what he called an “aggressive” cancer.

“It is with the most profound sense of grief and joy that Sara Jane and I announce the passing of our oldest daughter, Sydney Marie (Van Orden) Martens after a year of battling a very aggressive form of cancer,” the Republican from Wisconsin said.

Van Orden added:

“[Sydney] died peacefully surrounded by her family. We are heartbroken that we cannot share her smile and laugh in person any longer but are so thankful that she is resting with our Lord and that we were able to spend these years with her and her family.

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“Sydney is survived by grandma Virginia Whitelock, husband Chris, daughter Madelyn, sons, Charlie and Roman, father and mother Derrick and Sara Jane, Sister Abigail (Williams), brothers, Theodore and Daniel, and many uncles, aunts, and cousins.”

The congressman concluded, “Thank you for all of the tender mercies you have shown to our family. May God bless you all.”

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A number of Van Orden’s congressional colleagues offered him their prayers and condolences on Twitter:

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Van Orden is in his first year in the House and holds the seat that was vacated in January by former long-serving congressman Ron Kind, a Democrat.

The congressman narrowly lost his first election for the seat in 2020 when Kind was elected for a final time by roughly 10,000 votes.

He defeated Democrat Brad Pfaff by just under 12,000 votes in his state’s third congressional district after Kind decided to retire.

Van Orden and his wife Sara have three surviving children and eight grandchildren.

The 53-year-old served as a SEAL and was deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. Van Orden also served in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South and Central America.

The congressman said he was inspired to run for office during his time serving in the military after he witnessed “ineffectual” leadership.

Upon his retirement from the Navy, Van Orden acted in a number of films and authored “A Book of Man: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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