A Tribute to Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr.
I was born and breed in North Carolina! I have lived most of my life in the “Tar Heel State.” I am a proud American citizen! This past Sunday, February 10, US Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr. took his last breath right here in Greenville, NC. He went to be with his Lord on his 76th birthday! Our great state is famous for many things. Basketball for one, barbecue for another! Seldom do the wheels of my life stop rolling to pay tribute to a political figure. But North Carolina Congressman Walter B. Jones, a quiet and unassuming man, caught my attention a few years ago and is worthy of some kind words.
Being a pastor does not hinder me from the political process but it does require wisdom and restraint when responding to political issues. Mr. Jones served North Carolina as a congressman for twenty-four years. He was a conservative politician who invested much of his political clout in support of our military. Serving the Greenville area, he had access to Jacksonville’s Camp Lejeune Marine Base and the US Army’s Fort Bragg located in Fayetteville, NC. Congressman Jones had a sterling reputation in Greenville and in our nation’s capital Washington, DC for his support of America’s military. This love and commitment was obvious to those who knew him well.
I was not privileged to serve in our countries military. My father, and one of my brothers served in the US Army and my uncle served during WWII in the US Navy. Given this heritage, I have always held veterans in high regard and paid humble respect to them on appropriate occasions. Congressman Jones made it his business as our representative in Washington, to recognize and honor our veterans.
A few years ago one of our retired veterans, US Army Captain Keith Newman invited me to a special ceremony that was scheduled for our Parlor here at Grace Church. I was unaware that he was due a commendation for his advisory role in South Vietnam. Congressman Walter B. Jones was the guest presenter. On this particular day he stepped out of his role as a Washington politician and became a real person to me as Keith’s pastor. Here was an active congressman taking time to present a well- deserved medal to a retired veteran. As I watched the ceremony, I thought to myself, “This is special for Captain Newman for sure, but this congressman made it a very fulfilling time for this retired veteran.” I will never forget what I witnessed that day! Captain Newman and his wife Carol played a major role in scheduling this event, but Congressman Jones and his staff made it happen!
Thank you Congressman Walter B. Jones for making time for your people and for our retired veterans. Not only was this special for Keith and Carol Newman and their family, it was special for me, an American citizen, watching a US Congressman do his job! America needs more public servants like US Congressman Walter B. Jones.
God bless you sir and God bless America!
Pastor Mike Meshaw
Wednesday, February 13, 2019