A former marine and a representative of Pennsylvania's 12th District, Jack Murtha led as courageously in Congress as he did in our armed forces. To watch him legislate was to see a master at work. But more indicative of his character was the way he communicated with our men and women in uniform, whether near the battlefield or at the bedsides of the wounded. He bonded with our troops through his own personal military experiences he was one of the first Vietnam veterans to serve in Congress and he cared for them like a father. When he spoke out against the war in Iraq in 2005, he reminded us of the need to distinguish between the war and the warrior. Jack measured the strength of our country not only by its military might but also by the well-being of its people and was a staunch advocate for scientific research to fight breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.
Semper fidelis, the motto of the Marine Corps, in which Jack served proudly for 37 years, was the motto of his life. He loved his hometown, Johnstown, Pa.; his country; his wife Joyce; his children; and his grandchildren. Jack was a giant of the Congress, a champion to all Americans who serve their country and a true hero.
Pelosi is the Speaker of the House and will serve as Democratic leader in the 112th Congress