Friday, July 3, 2009
Rep. Kevin McCarthy: honoring veterans, celebrating the Fourth and remembering those who served
It's the July Fourth weekend, important things happening with our country and in Congress. Here's an update from Bakersfield Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in his own words:
"This week, I have been home working in the Bakersfield office for July’s district work period, and also getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July.
"As you might have heard, last week ended with a vote to pass Speaker Pelosi’s cap and trade bill, which unfortunately imposes a national energy tax on our local families, small businesses, and farms. As unemployment in our local communities rises, I believe Congress should focus on creating small businesses and American jobs, not taking more in taxes. The alternative solution, the American Energy Act, promotes an all-of-the-above energy plan with strong investments in American
renewable energy that can power our economy, create needed jobs, and
leave our environment cleaner and safer.
"I started the week in Tehachapi and spent some time with Dr. Robin Matuk, Dick Rutan, and other supporters of the Kern Veterans Memorial Foundation. Doctors Rabinder and Madhu Bhogal were kind enough to open their home for the gathering. The main topic of discussion was raising awareness for the second phase of our Kern Veterans Memorial.
"I also spoke at the Thomas Roads Improvement Program (TRIP) groundbreaking ceremony for the Seventh Standard Road widening project. The project will widen Seventh Standard Road to four lanes in order to reduce traffic. This road widening is one component of the larger TRIP project that will reduce traffic congestion for all drivers in Bakersfield and contribute to local economic growth.
"In between work events, I was able to catch some of my son’s basketball games at Bakersfield High School. I am proud he wanted to go to my alma mater; once a Driller, always a Driller!
"In my district office, I met new summer interns interested in learning more about public service and policy making. We are fortunate to have them working in all our office locations: Bakersfield, Atascadero, and Washington D.C. Most spend 2 weeks in one of our district offices
before going to D.C. for 4 weeks. If you have questions about the program, please visit my website (kevinmccarthy.house.gov). By the end of the summer our offices will have had 24 interns, working on behalf of our Congressional District. We have been privileged to have hard-working interns from all parts of the district this summer.
"Wednesday, our new National Cemetery in Bakersfield opened and I gathered with others to honor the first local veterans who were laid to rest. The new National Cemetery serves as a reminder for future generations of those who served and sacrificed for our freedom. We
are a grateful nation and I am pleased that our community has such a fitting resting place for our nation’s heroes.
"Thursday, I attended Major Jason E. George’s funeral at the Bakersfield National Cemetery. Major George was from Tehachapi. His heroic service, and ultimate sacrifice fighting for our country in
Iraq, will not be forgotten.
"On Thursday, I also held a medal presentation ceremony at my district office to honor World War II veteran Walter Truax of Bakersfield. He served in the United States Army from January 7, 1941 to November 3, 1945. The medal ceremony featured a surprise. Mr. Truax’s grandson, Corporal Sam Pascale (who currently serves in the Marines), drove five hours from 29 Palms to present his grandfather with the World War II victory medal. It was an emotional moment, as the family united to
honor their grandfather’s service. Mr. Truax served as squad leader
in the European theater, and after serving in the Army, Mr. Truax started his own local small business, Truax Optical, in Bakersfield on 17th Street. He has since sold his business and is now retired. Mr. Truax, having never received the medals he deserved, was awarded the following: the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign medal,
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 bronze service stars, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button. I am glad we could help honor his service to our nation.
"Be sure to check out my facebook page for more photos from my district work period. Thanks for reading, and have a good & safe 4th of July. Let us also remember our men and women currently serving overseas to
protect our freedoms.