Columns

Blaine’s Bulletin: Honoring Jeffrey L. White Jr.

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Washington, August 31, 2018 | comments

March 16, 2018 was just another Friday for many Americans.  We woke up, went to work and looked forward to the weekend ahead. For the White family in Catawissa, Missouri, however, it was the day that the President of the United States signed into law a bill to honor their son’s bravery and heroism in service to our country.

Army Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr. grew up in Catawissa with his parents, Jeff and Paula White and his brothers Michael and Kyle. Jeffrey graduated from Pacific High School in 2008 and joined the U.S. Army the following year. After completing basic and advanced training at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska before being deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. During his time in the Army, Jeffrey’s bravery and selflessness earned him numerous awards and recognitions including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Only a week before he was scheduled to come home on leave, Jeffrey tragically lost his life on April 3, 2012. He passed away from injuries sustained by an improvised explosive device (IED) that detonated near his unit in the Khost province of Afghanistan.

In November of 2016, I introduced legislation to dedicate the Post Office in Pacific as the “Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr. Post Office,” in honor of one of Missouri’s own. With the support of my Missouri Congressional colleagues, the House and Senate passed the legislation to honor Jeffrey and on March 16, 2018 President Trump officially signed the bill into law. Last week, it was my honor to join Jeffrey’s family and local officials for the official dedication of the Pacific Post Office in his memory. It was truly humbling to be among the many people there to pay tribute to our local hero.  In the face of great sadness, the White family has taught us all a lesson in strength and grace. We sometimes forget that the families of our soldiers also must live their lives knowing their entire world can be turned upside down in a moment and without notice.  Their bravery and service, just like Jeffrey’s, is something for which we are all eternally grateful. 

Last week’s ceremony was another reminder that freedom is not free, a reality the White family knows far too well. Next time you drive by the Specialist Jeffrey L. White Jr. United States Post Office, please take a second to remember the bravery and sacrifice of those who protect our great nation, especially the third district’s own Jeffrey L. White Jr. 

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2230 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-2956 tel (202) 225-5712 fax
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2117 Missouri Boulevard Jefferson City, Mo., 65109 (573) 635-7232 tel (573) 635-8347 fax
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113 East Pearce Boulevard Wentzville, Mo., 63385 (636) 327-7055 tel
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516 Jefferson St. Washington, MO 63090 (636) 239-2276 tel
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