a commending resolution (below) on behalf of the House, Senate and all Virginians today.
Video of my presentation is below where Major Constantine received a forty second standing ovation which was incredibly moving.
Justin is a graduate of Fairfax High School. He and I met at James Madison University. We were both political science majors and regulars in each other's fraternity basements. He went on to law school in Colorado and enlisted with the United States Marine Corps' Judge Advocate General.
After serving five years in California, Okinawa and Japan, Justin returned home and went into reserve status. He played rugby with his childhood friend and my law partner, State Senator Chap Petersen.
After seeing his fellow brothers and sisters repeatedly deploying he volunteered to head back to Iraq. On the sixth week of his deployment with an infantry battalion helping to organize civilain affairs, he was shot in the head by a sniper while on a routine combat patrol.
A Navy medic quickly jumped into action and saved his life with an emergency tracheotomy. He was airlifted to Germany and eventually to Bethesda, Maryland. He eventually underwent twenty surgeries to repair his skull, jaw and face.
He was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
After discharge, Justin served as Counsel to the United States Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and in the Department of Justice. Today, he serves with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He has volunteered with countless charities including the Wounded Warrior Project, the USO, and the Red Cross. All are listed in the commending resolution below. He even started his own charity called Iraq and Back to provide support to wounded veterans who return home. He has dedicated his life to ensuring the our veterans are treated with the proper dignity and respect commensurate with their service, and to ensuring that we do all we can to bring veterans back into civilian life once combat is over.
Veterans like Justin remind us all that freedom is not free and that the effects of war last long beyond the day the smoke has cleared. Justin truly embodies the Marine Corps motto - Semper Fi. He's not only a great Marine, but a great American and a great Virginian. I'm honored to be his friend.
HJR 211 Justin Constantine Commending Resolution