On Tuesday, Wisconsin Representative Derrick Van Orden, 53, made a public announcement regarding the passing of his daughter.
The press department of Van Orden released a statement announcing the tragic passing of Sydney Marie Martenis, the eldest daughter of the congressman, following a year-long battle with 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) Martenis, after a year of battling a very aggressive form of cancer. She died peacefully surrounded by her family,” Van Orden, a former Navy Seal, stated.
“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.”
The dissemination of the news was conducted by the representative through the utilization of official announcements posted on his website and the social media platforms managed by his press office.
“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 release added.” “Thank you for all of the tender mercies you have shown to our family. May God bless you all.”
On the same day, Chris Martenis, the spouse of the deceased, took to social media to share a concise tribute to his late wife, wherein he lauded her as a paragon of spousal and maternal virtues.
“She was the hardest working, most thoughtful, and deeply caring person that I know. She was a wonderful mother – she was always surprising me with interesting and challenging experiences for our kids,” Martenis stated.
He further expressed, “She was a better partner and wife than I deserve – she made me a better person through her example in how to be a good friend, how to care for kids, and how to take part in a loving marriage. She was exemplary – she held herself to a standard that few, if any, could meet. The world is less bright without her here.”
Van Orden was the recipient of expressions of sympathy from his colleagues in the legislature.
“No parent should have to experience this kind of heartbreak. I’m praying for [Rep. Van Orden] and his family during this tragic time,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy relayed.
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin expressed “I am so incredibly sorry for your loss, [Rep. Van Orden]. My heart goes out to you and your loved ones grieving this loss, and I am keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult time.”
Van Orden joined the Navy at 18. According to his campaign website, “He retired as a Navy SEAL Senior Chief with 5 combat deployments and several others to troubled areas in the world.”
His first combat deployment was to Bosnia Herzegovina immediately following the signing of the Dayton Accords. During this time, he came to understand how truly unique and wonderful America is, and why She is not only worth emulating, but protecting.
Derrick continued his service with multiple combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, he served in the Horn of Africa, Asia, Europe, and South and Central America.
During his tour in Europe in 2012, under the Obama administration, he was responsible for planning Special Operations contingency operations for the European Continent.
This is where he learned that when America has ineffectual leaders, Americans pay the price for this lack of strength. The direct result of this was the tragic killing of his former teammate Ty Woods and fellow SEAL Glen Doherty during the terrorist attack on the embassy annex in Benghazi, Libya.
Derrick also became involved in acting during his military service when he starred in the motion picture Act of Valor. He continued his acting career and appeared in two more films. Derrick is also a best-selling author of the book A Book of Man: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood.
After retirement, Derrick utilized his leadership skills in the private sector consulting with Fortune 500 companies until he and Sara retired to their farm.
Wanting to give back to the village that had been so kind to them, Derrick and Sara decided to reopen the village cafe. This led to a two-year adventure culminating with the reestablishment of the Butternut Cafe as a gathering place for friends and family.
Following this, Derrick decided that in order to pursue his love of learning and America, he would attend law school.
Derrick saw what was happening in Washington DC. The radical agenda being pushed by Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden has taken our nation rapidly down the path to Socialism.
He couldn’t stand by the sidelines while Washington Democrats fundamentally change the fabric of our nation with one-party rule. He was called back into public service, this time as a candidate for Congress in the 3rd District of his beloved State of Wisconsin.