“The Congressional veteran commendation award is presented to a veteran who has continued their service to the community well after leaving the armed services. This civic minded individual carries the values they learned in the armed service to the community through either volunteer work, non-profit organizations, or elected office. The individual carries and showcases the spirit of American values and makes them the beacon of civic responsibility.”
– Congressman Ron Wright
This past Tuesday, Congressman Ron Wright awarded local veteran Henry (Gus) Jones the Congressional Veteran Commendation Award. He, along with several others across the county were given this honor. Following is the letter that Gus’ wife, Katherine sent in to nominate him – unbeknownst to Jones.
Please accept this nomination for the Veteran Commendation Award for:
Henry (Gus) Jones of Ennis, Texas.
Gus voluntarily joined the Air Force in the 1970’s during America’s most unpopular war. He did so because he felt he had lived a life of privilege and it was his duty to give back and serve his country.
He served in the Air Force for 5 years as a weapons officer, rising to the rank of Sgt.
Gus left the service and started his career in the Agricultural Chemical industry, which ultimately brought him to Ennis Texas to run a small Ag Chemical Company.
Gus has been an active part of the city of Ennis, serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board, both as member and Board President. He received the Chairman’s Outstanding Service Award in 2006. He served on the United Way Board helping to raise funds for local non-profit agencies. As president and CEO of his company, Gus set up for the company to match it’s employees United Way contributions, showing that he valued both his employees financial sacrifices and the agencies served by United Way.
Gus personally contributed monetarily and through volunteering to many local organizations, including the local food pantry, the public theater, Child Protective Services, Meals on Wheels, Ennis Public Library and others. In addition, his company has always been a contributor both through giving of time and money to multiple organizations (scouts, Boys and Girls Club, Helping Hands of Ennis, A-Cross, Relay for Life and others). He gave an additional lunch hour for employees that opted to use theirs delivering Meals on Wheels. Gus also had his own Meals on Wheels route for over 10 years.
Gus served on the Economic Development Committee for Ennis, lending his business expertise to help the city attract other businesses and providing funds for parks (Veterans Park) and the Arts in Ennis.
Since his retirement, Gus has continued to serve, until Covid cut many opportunities short, through Habitat for Humanity and his church. During the quarantine, Gus bought lumber, cut pieces, drilled nail holes, provided instructions and all supplies for a bird house “kit” for the children in his neighborhood for a quarantine project. The kids and their parents built their birdhouses in Gus driveway, spaced 6 ft. apart!
Gus served his country voluntarily and proudly, with honor and integrity. He has continued that service in the city of Ennis for over 25 years. He continues to lead with honor and integrity. Additionally he is a wonderful husband, father, Pawpaw who leads through example. He has encouraged his children and grandchildren to give back to the community, be involved, to make a difference.
– Katherine Jones