'Deep Throat' -- a family statement
Family hopes country will view Mark Felt as American hero
SANTA ROSA, California (CNN) -- Nick Jones, the grandson of W. Mark Felt, delivered a statement Tuesday on Felt's admission to being "Deep Throat" in the Watergate investigation which brought down the Nixon Administration 31 years ago:
"The family believes my grandfather, Mark Felt Sr., is a great American hero who went well and above the call of duty at much risk to himself to save his country from a horrible injustice. We all sincerely hope the country will see him this way as well.
"My grandfather is pleased that he is being honored for his role as Deep Throat with his friend Bob Woodward. He is also pleased by the attention this has drawn to his career in his 32 years of service to his country. But he believes in his heart that the men and women of the FBI who have put their -- who have put their lives at risk for more than 50 years to keep this country safe deserve recognition more than he.
"Mark had expressed reservations in the past about revealing his identity and about whether his actions were appropriate for an FBI man. But as he recently told my mother, 'I guess people used to think Deep Throat was a criminal. But now they think he's a hero.'
"Our family believes older people are our national treasure and should be honored and respected in the declining years of their lives. My grandfather is one of those special people. And on behalf of the Felt family, we hope you see him worthy of honor and respect as we do.
"The Felt family does ask, however, that in view of his age and health, you respect his zone of privacy as he enjoys his moment with us.