(WASHINGTON) –American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National President J. David Cox Sr. will join dozens of volunteers this Saturday for the washing of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Volunteers will gather at the memorial site at 6:30 a.m. to clean the Wall, which features more than 58,000 names of service members who perished during the Vietnam War or remain missing.
“I am truly honored to be a part of this experience,” said Cox. “To participate in the washing of the Wall gives me an opportunity to show my deepest gratitude to those who have served our country so valiantly.”
“Growing up in Kannapolis, N.C., it was difficult to watch my childhood friends go off to war, but their sacrifice was inspiring,” said Cox. “During my visit to the memorial I’ll be reminded of those I grew up with, such as, Sgt. 1st Class Donald Shue, Lance Cpl. Jimmy Cox and Lance Cpl. John Dunlap, who gave their lives for our country. For many years the remains of my friend Donnie were missing, and to learn that they were recently found truly touches my heart. The names of these men, and thousands of others, will forever be engraved in our nation’s history.”
Cox has spent his life dedicated to serving America’s veterans through his career as a nurse with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). After many years of service as an AFGE officer representing VA employees, Cox continues to forge a valuable relationship between veterans’ needs and labor activism as Chairman of the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council. The council seeks to help veterans with employment opportunities through the VA and in the building trades, as well as, participate in numerous service activities, such as assisting in maintaining memorials that honor America’s heroes.
Cox will be joined by other union members and AFGE National Vice President for Women’s and Fair Practices Augusta Thomas, who has been a leader in the civil rights movement for decades.
“It is my absolute pleasure to participate in the washing of this memorial,” said Thomas. “To be able to reach out and touch the names of service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this nation will be a humbling experience. I am honored to do what I can to show my respects to those who have died in protection of our freedoms.”
AFGE continues to be on the front lines of fighting for the workplace rights of veterans employed by the federal and D.C. governments. AFGE represents hundreds of thousands of employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and other vital agencies.