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Walter B. Jones, Jr. Post Office

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 5, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

I rise in support of this legislation, H.R. 5037.

Walter Jones was not just a colleague; he was a friend. For many of us in this Chamber, we can remember when he sat just off the center aisle there, just a few rows back from the front. He was consistently there and consistently a voice, as my friend from North Carolina (Mr. Price) just said, of those who had fallen in the ultimate fight for freedom and liberty. Many of us have pictures outside of our congressional offices recognizing those who have fallen in their fight for liberty in the armed services, and that is due in no small part to our good friend, Mr. Walter Jones.

Mr. MURPHY of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5037, which is a tribute to my predecessor, friend, and mentor, Congressman Walter B. Jones. Sadly, he passed away while serving diligently in his office nearly a year ago.

This legislation would designate the post office in his hometown of Farmville, North Carolina, as the Walter B. Jones, Jr. Post Office.

He was the son of Walter B. Jones, Sr., and Doris Long. A devoted public servant, a man of great faith, and a proud American, Walter put the people and the needs of North Carolina's Third District first.

I knew Walter first as a patient, who then became a dear friend and then became a political mentor. His passing was a loss for our State, our Nation, and for all who knew him and loved him.

In part due to his own service in the military, Walter cared deeply about the brave men and women who served our country. After attending Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, Walter graduated from Atlantic Christian College in 1966 and went on to serve in the North Carolina National Guard for 4 years.

After serving for 10 years in the North Carolina House, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1995, where he would spend the remaining 24 years of his life diligently serving the people of North Carolina's Third Congressional District.

He worked tirelessly to ensure that he was always available to his constituents and saw that they received assistance whenever they needed it, particularly with the VA and healthcare benefits.

Both in our Nation's Capitol and in eastern North Carolina, Walter was known for his humility and kindheartedness. In fact, Walter was voted the nicest Member of Congress in 2004 in a survey conducted by the Washingtonian among top Capitol Hill staffers.

Of course, Walter was known for his vigorous support of our military and particularly thousands of marines based in eastern North Carolina at Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps air stations in Cherry Point as well as New River, along with FRC East.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, he began a letter- writing campaign, ultimately sending over 11,000 letters of condolences to families and extended family members of fallen soldiers. Outside of his office--and now my office--are hundreds of photos of those who have fallen for the freedom of this Nation.

This was the kind of man he was: admirable, selfless, and caring.

Additionally, some of Walter's greatest achievements while serving in Congress included the work to ensure autistic children of military families received a proper education. He also advocated for the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat veterans with traumatic brain injury and to protect the beautiful wild horses on Shackleford Banks and North Carolina's beaches. He had compassion and respect for these beautiful animals on the eastern shores.

Walter left behind a legacy that epitomized what we all should aspire to be as a public servant. So it is my privilege to introduce this bill honoring such a great American like Walter Jones.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the entire North Carolina delegation for joining as original cosponsors of this piece of legislation, and I urge Members to adopt H.R. 5037, which would permanently name the post office after him in Farmville.


Mr. MEADOWS. Mr. Speaker, all of us have come together to give a little bit of what we got in big doses, and that was compassion and care from a man who was not only strongest in his convictions, but resolute in those convictions as well.

So I rise in support. I appreciate my colleagues opposite for their support of this. I appreciate Congressman Murphy for his leadership as well, and I yield back the balance of my time.