06.07.10

A Message from Senator Richard Burr

While the Senate was in recess last week, I enjoyed traveling throughout the state speaking with North Carolinians about the issues affecting them. I had the opportunity to tour manufacturing facilities, visit with students, and speak with the employees and employers who are directly impacting our economy. I also participated in some unique events that I thought you would be interested in hearing about.

Memorial Day was filled with opportunities to celebrate our veterans and show our appreciation for the sacrifices they've made on behalf of our nation. I attended two events last Monday - in Yanceyville and Thomasville - where I met some of our nation's heroes and was able to thank them personally for their service.

On Tuesday, I toured a VA clinic in Greenville. While there, I spoke with doctors and administrators about the facility's ability to provide medical and mental health services for our veterans. Meeting the needs of every veteran in North Carolina is a top priority of mine, and you can read more about my visit in this article in the Daily Reflector.

At a stop in Edenton on Wednesday, I sat down with 103.7 WTIB-FM talk-show host Henry Hinton to discuss a range of issues of interest to North Carolinians at the beautiful, historic Barker House. I then had a chance to tour the newly restored Cupola House, a National Historic Landmark and popular Edenton attraction that was awarded a federal historic preservation grant in 2008.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, I had the privilege to present Jim Pfleger with the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation's second highest military honor. Sergeant Pfleger, United States Army, was recuperating in the hospital when he was awarded the medal 65 years ago. He earned the DSC for his efforts to recruit and lead a squad to rescue fellow soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. The small ceremony at the Plantation Village Retirement Community in Wilmington allowed me and others to confer on Mr. Pfleger a small part of the recognition he deserves. Learn more about his incredible story here and here.

I concluded a busy, productive week travelling throughout the state at the Disable American Veterans (DAV) convention in Raleigh. There, I had a chance to share with veterans what I think we can do better to serve our wounded service members and to hear from soldiers themselves about what issues are of greatest concern. Later this week, I will sit down with family caretakers, veterans, government officials and health experts in Washington for the second in a series of informal roundtable discussions on pressing issues within VA and the veterans' community.

The Senate is back in session this week, and I am on my way back to Washington. The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico continues to be a top concern. Our number one priority right now needs to be to cap this well and contain the leak so we can continue cleaning up the oil and preventing any further damage to the Gulf and Gulf Coast communities. After addressing these immediate concerns, we must focus on better understanding what failed and why it did so we can hold accountable those responsible and avoid this type of disaster in the future. This matter will continue to be the subject of hearings in the Senate.