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Recognizing public servants

To the editor:

Fortunately for our nation, many Americans, including myself, choose careers as federal public servants. Most of these workers go unrecognized and unappreciated despite the fact they work in every state in our nation, as well as overseas.

According to NARFE (National Association of Retired Federal Employees), 299,647 Virginians are either active or retired federal and postal employees and in North Carolina, 146,302. The Department of Defense is the No. 1 employer in both states, and the U.S. Postal Service is second in Virginia and sixth in North Carolina.

Federal employees provide vital services that benefit Americans every day. We see them when hurricanes strike, floods destroy communities and pandemics spread worldwide. We know that they help land our planes safely and perform inspections to maintain a healthy food and water supply. But for every image you see on TV, thousands more work behind the scenes to keep this country running.

They process tax refunds, small business loans, stimulus payments, Social Security checks, and loans for college students. They track biological threats and alert Americans to treacherous weather conditions, among other critical and life-saving tasks.

COVID-19 is the latest crisis during which we expect our civil servants to work tirelessly and often around the clock. I take comfort in knowing that our country is fortunate to have dedicated professionals who continue to selflessly serve their fellow man all for the greater good.

Throughout the year, but especially during Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9, we should gratefully acknowledge their service. While we remain shuttered indoors to fight the invisible enemy among us, let’s recognize and appreciate civil servants for what they truly are: the heartbeat of America.

Denise Murden