Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Honoring Veterans And Their Outstanding Community Service

Rep. Ralph Regula

legislator photo

Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Virginia Foxx

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day, to honor those who fought for us in World War II and those who lost their lives this day 65 years ago. Also I am honored to pay tribute to two extraordinary veterans from Winston-Salem, North Carolina who continue to work tirelessly for our country and its veterans.

These distinguished men have served our Nation with bravery and honor, and years after they have retired from active duty their commitment to community and other veterans remains an important part of their lives.

Sergeant George W. Carter served in the United States Army during the Korean War and earned the Silver Star for gallantry against an armed enemy. In addition to earning the Silver Star, Mr. Carter was awarded the Bronze Star with two V's, along with the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, Occupation of Japan Medal, National Defense Service Medal and several other medals. After the war, Mr. Carter served 5 years in the Reserves and then returned to the trucking industry, from which he retired in 1994.

In 1999, Mr. Carter was employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a security guard. At the age of 76, Mr. Carter retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but did not retire from service to his country.

In 2003, Mr. Carter began volunteering at the Winston-Salem outpatient clinic 3 days a week. He often picks up Krispy Kreme donuts at 5:30 a.m. and arrives at the outpatient clinic at 6 a.m. to set up coffee tables, napkins and snacks before the first patients arrive.

Today, December 7, 2006, Mr. Carter at 79 years old is still serving his country. In the last 3 years, he has volunteered over 2,000 hours to serve, console and support veterans.

Another distinguished gentleman is Mr. Howard Petree, a World War II and Korean War veteran who also continues to serve his country and community with honor and dedication long after his active military service.

He served in the United States Army stateside in World War II after being drafted in 1943. In 1946, Mr. Petree served in the Army Field Artillery with a T-4 rank. He also served in the Korean War as a First Class Supply Sergeant. After being honorably discharged in 1952, Mr. Petree worked in a local municipality as a commercial water repairman for 32 years.

In 1997, Mr. Petree became one of the first volunteers at the Winston-Salem Outpatient Clinic. He volunteered from 6:45 a.m. until 12 noon 3 days a week until 2005. In 2005, he reduced his volunteer time to 2 days a week.

Mr. Petree also volunteers setting up coffee tables, napkins and snacks before the first patients arrive. He serves coffee, as well as answers questions for veterans and shares his experiences with them.

Today, Mr. Petree at 84 years old is still serving his country out of a selfless personal obligation to help others and to connect and assist other veterans. In the last 8 years, he has volunteered over 4,000 hours.

It is appropriate to honor these two gentlemen today. Years after their active military service, they continue to work with veterans and support those who have defended our country from tyranny and oppression, just as they themselves did. Although these men may no longer wear the uniform on active duty, their obligation and love of this country continues.

I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Mr. George W. Carter and Mr. Howard Petree for their steadfast and faithful service to this Nation and their continued work with the very men and women who have made this the free country that it is today. The Winston-Salem Outpatient Clinic is lucky to have such fine men who are a inspiration to us all.