May 21, 2009
At the Gold Star Wives’ Annual Congressional Reception today on Capitol Hill, Congressman Walter B. Jones was presented with the 2009 Appreciation Award for his service on behalf of all survivors of members of the United Stated Armed Services. Vivianne Wersel, a Gold Star Wife from Emerald Isle, North Carolina, was present to stand beside Congressman Jones as he received the honor. Rose Lee, Co-Chair of the Congressional Reception, presented the award to Congressman Jones “for his unwavering efforts to safeguard the health benefits promised to service members, their families and survivors; for his compassionate diligence in assisting individual beneficiaries, championing their causes before federal agencies to assure timely resolution of their concerns; for sponsoring the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act to permit families who receive the death gratuity to invest the full amount into certain tax-favored accounts; and for his work to include surviving spouses of active duty deaths in the Surviving Spouses Indemnity Allowance (SSIA).” “I am humbled by this recognition from the Gold Star Wives of America,” Congressman Jones said. “Any survivors of our men and women in the Armed Forces deserve our help when their loved ones have lost their lives. The families of our military men and women who serve our nation share in their sacrifice and have earned Congress’ unwavering support.” Gold Star Wives of America is a nonprofit service organization comprised of surviving spouses of military service members who die while on active duty or as a result of a service connected disability. Founded in 1945 by a 22-year-old WWII widow, Gold Star Wives of America was chartered by the U.S. Congress on December 4, 1980. For additional information, or to schedule an interview with Congressman Walter B. Jones, please contact Kathleen Joyce at (202) 225-3415.