The Congresswoman Shared “Stories of Service” on U.S. House Floor that She Received from Virginians
**DOWNLOADABLE VIDEO: On U.S. House Floor, Spanberger Shares Stories of Veterans, Active-Duty Servicemembers, & Virginia Military Families**
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today honored Veterans, servicemembers, and Virginia military families.
Spanberger launched a survey earlier this year to gather “Stories of Service” from Virginians with loved ones who are active-duty servicemembers or Veterans. During Military Appreciation Month in May, Spanberger read some of the stories she received from Virginians detailing the service of heroes in their lives who answered the call. Today, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Congresswoman read additional “Stories of Service” she received to recognize the personal sacrifices of these heroes.
Virginians can click here to submit their additional stories.
Click here to watch her remarks on the floor of the U.S. House, and a full transcript of her comments is below.
Mister Speaker, I stand here to recognize some of Virginia’s many proud Veterans and military families.
One of my most powerful memories of my late grandfather is when I took him to the World War II Memorial and had the opportunity to stand with him on the side marked ‘Pacific’ and hear some of his stories from his time in service — stories that he, throughout my childhood, never shared, but at that memorial chose to share with me.
And so, as a representative for Virginia’s Seventh District and as a representative of many military families and Veterans, I want to ensure that I am giving voice and putting into the Congressional Record some of the extraordinary “Stories of Service” that we have throughout our district.
So earlier this year, I reached out to Virginians across the Seventh asking them to share “Stories of Service” to recognize their loved ones who answered the call or share their own experiences. And I heard from people across the Seventh District. I was proud to share some of those stories in May during Military Appreciation Month, and I will continue to do so into the future.
Kenneth J. Schmidt from Prince William County shared the long record of service in his family, writing, “My family is a proud military one. Our father served during World War I. Seven brothers-in-law, two cousins, and my oldest brother served during World War II. My other brother and I served during the Korean War. Army, Navy, Air Force — we were there.”
Thank you, Mr. Schmidt, for your family’s sacrifices on behalf of our country.
We received a story from James Willess who lives in Fredericksburg.
Mr. Willess wrote, “My father, Homer LeRoy Willess, served in the U.S. Navy from July 1937 to September 1945, mostly in the Pacific Theater. Four of his brothers also served in the Navy, and his eldest sister served as an Army nurse during World War II. Three of his younger brothers served in the Navy during the Korean War, and their youngest sister served as a Navy nurse during the Vietnam War. I am extremely proud of my father and his siblings for serving their country in uniform during three major wars.”
Neil Hornung from Spotsylvania, a Veteran himself, shared with us, “I served in the Marine Corps from 1982 until 2008. Served in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, and Operation Uphold Democracy. My last tour was as the Marine Corps lead for Critical Infrastructure.”
Thank you for your service, Mr. Hornung.
Mr. Hornung also wanted to recognize a member of his family who has followed in his footsteps, writing, “My oldest son is First Lieutenant Brandon Hornung, United States Marine Corps, currently stationed on Okinawa.”
Thank you for your service, Brandon. And do stay safe.
Paul from Spotsylvania shared his father’s story of service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Paul wrote, “My dad, Ed Czartosieski was at the battle of Chosin Reservoir in Korea as a Marine Pilot flying Corsair aircraft. He flew out of Hagaru and was surrounded by Chinese forces. He assisted in saving many lives with the ‘advance to the rear’ as the Marine Corps. He retired as a test pilot for Grumman Aerospace on Long Island. Dad is doing well in Greenport, New York and soon to be 100.” Paul wrote, “I hope to get to the U.S. Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia.”
Harry Dolph from Stafford sent us a story of his mother, a patriot who stepped up to serve on behalf of our country when it needed her the most. Mr. Dolph wrote, “My mother, Caroline Alva Bush, was one of the first dozen women to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War I, and served in a personnel role in Washington, D.C.”
And George Wratney from Orange County shared a story highlighting the sacrifices and contributions of military families.
Mr. Wratney shared with us, “I was a Marine in Vietnam from April 1968 to May 1969, but this is about my bride of 22 months when I left home, and the thousands of military brides like her, who had no one ‘in their boat’ back then to share stories, fears, anxieties. No email then. No social media. Only prayers. We owe them, all of them, so much gratitude as they stood by.”
Thank you, Mr. Wratney, for recognizing the service and the sacrifice of military families, like your bride.
Veterans, servicemembers, and Virginia’s proud military family members are our neighbors, our friends, and our community members — their stories are woven into the fabric of our nation, and certainly Virginia’s Seventh District. We owe them a debt of gratitude and we must thank every American who answered the call and every American who will do so in the future.
Because we are undoubtedly freer thanks to the service and sacrifice of Virginians who have answered the call.