Editor,

As the president of American Federation of Government Employees, or AFGE, Local 2065 and AFGE Marine Corps Council 240, I was blessed with the privilege to seek the support and services of North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones on behalf of over 6,000 federal employees. These employees were located throughout the Marine Corps base camp Lejeune, Marine Corps air stations New River and Cherry Point, and collectively over 16,000 employees throughout the Marine Corps Enterprise. He consistently opposed legislation that negatively affected federal employment interests and the support and services of service members and their families.

Congressman Jones was a tireless supporter of our autistic military children, specifically those at Camp Lejeune. He advocated for years for them to have available the latest education therapy such as Applied Behavior Analysis. Congressman Jones was an outstanding advocate to our wounded warriors. He worked tirelessly with U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, to get Department of Defense congressional authorization to use the most effective therapies to treat the “invisible wounds” of combat, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Tens of thousands of our wounded warriors suffer from these wounds.

Congressman Jones’s bipartisan efforts resulted in commissary privileges being available starting Jan. 1, 2020 to the caregivers of our wounded warriors, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war, Medal of Honor recipients and our disabled veterans. Congressman Jones had an immeasurable passion for serving our military community, and I believe it is befitting that he be linked with General Lejeune because of his many accomplishments for our Marines, their families, our disabled veterans and their caregivers. Consequently, I’m thankful for Congresswoman Speier’s amendment to rename Lejeune High School to honor Congressman Jones.

Al Burgess

Jacksonville, N.C.

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