WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02) introduced legislation today to rename the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Woodland Avenue as the "Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center."
A 1966 graduate of Cardinal Dougherty High School, Corporal Crescenz was a Vietnam War hero and the only Philadelphian to receive the Medal of Honor for service in that war. He was honored posthumously for his bravery in Hiep Duc Valley on November 20, 1968. The Medal was presented to his parents by President Richard Nixon during a White House ceremony in April 1970.
Joining Fattah as original co-sponsors of the legislation are Representatives Robert Brady (D-PA-01) and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13).
According to the Medal of Honor citation the 19-year-old corporal "… distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a rifleman… Cpl. Crescenz left the relative safety of his own position, seized a nearby machine gun and, with complete disregard for his safety, charged 100 meters up a slope toward the enemy's bunkers which he effectively silenced . . . As a direct result of his heroic actions, his company was able to maneuver freely with minimal danger and to complete its mission, defeating the enemy... Cpl. Crescenz's bravery and extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army."
Congressman Fattah said, "There is no greater sacrifice than to lay down your life in service to your country. The renaming of this facility recognizes and honors the ultimate sacrifice of Corporal Crescenz and the thousands of men and women who put their lives on the line every day for our freedom."
Congressman Brady said, "I want to thank my friend Chaka Fattah for his leadership in extending this long overdue honor to this Philadelphia hero. Naming the hospital for Michael honors all of the brave men and women who gave so much for us in Vietnam and in other wars."
"We have a responsibility to remember and honor the brave men and women who defend our country," said Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz. "Corporal Michael Crescenz was a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice. Naming this VA hospital after Corporal Crescenz pays tribute to his sacrifice, the sacrifice of all veterans and the heroism they displayed to keep our country safe."
Congressman Fattah is a Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee. He is a Member on the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs which oversees all discretionary spending involved in the planning, design, construction, alteration and improvement of all VA related facilities. Fattah is the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies and a strong advocate for increased funding for neuroscience research.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah