National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

American Stories

The men and women below are just a few of the millions of active and retired federal workers across America. They protect our skies, keep our food and drinking water safe, and care for our veterans. They've selflessly served our country � but today, they�re under attack.

Politicians are using active and retired federal workers as scapegoats in federal budget cuts discussions � a move that threatens to slash the pay, retirement, and health benefits these workers have earned and could endanger the services millions of Americans rely on. Federal employees Protect America�s Heartbeat every day � and shouldn't be needlessly singled out for cuts.

To put a face on the extraordinary work federal employees and retirees perform on behalf of the American public, NARFE is collecting stories of active and retired federal workers. Share your own story of how you Protect America's Heartbeat below.

A group of active and retired federal employees talk about their government service as part of the "Protect America's Heartbeat" campaign.


D. Thomas Longo, Jr.

U.S. State Department

American diplomats are the face of our foreign policy. They not only represent our interests as a country, but also the needs of American tourists and business people when they are abroad. Without the service of diplomats like D. Thomas Longo, Jr., a former diplomat for the U.S. State Department, America's foreign relations and standing in the world would suffer.

After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Longo entered the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service program, working as the Consular Section Chief in the U.S. Consulate offices in Hungary and West Germany. While serving in Hungary, Mr. Longo devised an effective methodology for resolving �divided family� cases of emigration from then-Communist Hungary. As Chief of Italian Affairs for the State Department�s Bureau of European Affairs, Mr. Longo was also instrumental in avoiding a potential disaster in U.S.-Italian relations which arose from a terrorist hijacking of an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, in 1985.

After a distinguished career of 29 years, Mr. Longo retired to the Eastern Shore of Maryland where among other things he serves as chairman of an alumni association of his former Navy ship, the USS Capricornus (AKA-57), and other volunteer activities and contributes columns on foreign affairs and other issues to local newspapers.


Richard Giangerelli

U.S. Department of Interior

When the Gulf Oil Spill occurred, Americans wanted assurance that those held responsible would pay for the cleanup. Thanks to programs developed by federal employees like Richard Giangerelli, a former Project Manager for the Department of Interior, they got it.

During his 30 years of public service, Mr. Giangerelli worked to develop and implement the Oil Spill Financial Responsibility Program for the Department of Interior. This program requires oil companies responsible for spills to finance the cleanup of the impacted area. Mr. Giangerelli also worked to develop the inspection process and safety criteria for offshore platforms to meet.

Richard Giangerelli retired to Herndon, Virginia where he volunteers for the Northern Virginia Aging Network and has been involved in raising money for scholarships for students seeking to study geriatric medicine.


Linda Kurz

Veterans Affairs

Veterans risked their lives to protect America. Sadly, for many veterans, when one battle ended abroad, a new one began at home – the battle to gain access to quality health care. Americans made a commitment to veterans. That's why federal employees like Linda Kurz, the former Director of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri, have devoted their lives to ensure we honor it.

After growing tired of watching veterans fall through the cracks, Mrs. Kurz embarked on a mission to create clinics for veterans in Marion, Illinois and the Greater St. Louis Area. With her 37 years of leadership, wounded veterans in Marion and Greater St. Louis gained access to quality health care services including, primary and tertiary care, long-term and home care, as well as, family support.

Ms. Kurz retired to Lonedell, Missouri where she is active in her community, working with Habitat for Humanity and veterans groups.


Are you an active or retired federal employee who dedicated your life to protecting America's heartbeat?
We want to hear from you! Tell us:

  • Where are you from? What is / was your position? For how long have you served / did you serve as a federal employee?
  • How would America be different if there weren't people serving in your position?
  • What's your proudest contribution to your country/community during your service?

Retired federal employee Michael Teefy tells his story of service as part of the "Protect America's Heartbeat" campaign.