WASHINGTON, DC (WITN) From the left to the right -- Congressman Walter Jones is remembered today on Capitol Hill as a man of principle, devoted to those who served in the Armed Forces.
“He really was driven by his heart,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). Sometimes we disagreed with his positions, but I never questioned his motivations.”
Veterans Affairs Administration Sec. Robert Wilkie grew up on Fort Bragg – and grew close to both Rep. Walter Jones and his namesake father who held the same congressional seat before him. “The bottom line for Congresman Jones was always what’s beneficial, what helps those in uniform, which is very special for me coming from that world. He was always willing to help out, he was always willing to listen.”
Jones’ willingness to stand on principle and buck his party cost him powerful positions on Capitol Hill, but also won him plenty of friends, perhaps none closer than Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).
Butterfield says, “My condolences go out to the constituents of Walter Jones, and to the Jones family, the people of Pitt County who loved and benefited from Walter Jones’ service, he will really be missed.”
Butterfield called Jones authentic, having a deep faith in God, with political beliefs rooted in his religious beliefs.
We asked Congressman Butterfield what Congress learn from Rep. Jones. He said, "In order for the Congress to work effectively, we’ve got to have more bi-partisanship on the hill. And, right now, we’ve seen the days of bi-partisanship evaporate. Walter and I would engage in personal conversations almost every day here on Capitol Hill. He would talk about the political issues that faced our state he would talk about his regret for having voted for involvement in Iraq and what he was doing to atone for that vote. He was the military congressman, the epitome of being a military congressman. He supported our military; he supported our veterans, and he demonstrated that every day. Anyone who knew Walter Jones knew that he was an independent thinker.”
The Capitol’s flags are at half-staff Monday night. Jones’ former colleagues are also expected to memorialize him on the House floor.