Landrieu: Senate Approves Naming of Abbeville Post Office After Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire
Sergeant Abshire was Highest Decorated Veteran of Vietnam War from Vermilion Parish
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., announced that the Senate today has approved legislation to honor a Vermilion Parish Vietnam War hero by naming the Abbeville postal facility in Vermillion Parish the "Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post Office Building."
H.R. 3212 was introduced in the House by Congressman Charles Boustany, R-La., whose district includes Abbeville and Vermilion Parish. Sergeant Abshire, the highest decorated veteran of the Vietnam War from Vermilion Parish, was killed in active duty on May 2, 1968.
"I commend Congressman Boustany for introducing this legislation that will honor one of Louisiana's war heroes - a man who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country," Sen. Landrieu said. "I was honored to help shepherd this bill through the Senate. With the naming of the Abbeville Post Office in honor of Sergeant Abshire, generations of Louisianians will now have the opportunity to learn of and appreciate his courageous service."
Sergeant Abshire was presented the Navy Cross posthumously by the President of the United States, with a citation written by then-Secretary of the Navy Paul R. Ignatius, who said:
"For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company G, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 2 May 1968, Sergeant ABSHIRE's unit and another company launched a coordinated attack against a well entrenched North Vietnamese Army force occupying the village of Dinh To in Quang Tri Province. As the Marines entered the village, they began receiving a heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire which wounded numerous men and temporarily halted the lead platoons of each company. Directed to establish a defensive perimeter, Sergeant ABSHIRE immediately deployed his men into advantageous firing positions and commenced directing a heavy volume of accurate fire into the enemy emplacements. As the intensity of the hostile fire increased, it became apparent that the North Vietnamese soldiers were preparing to launch a counterattack. Rapidly obtaining hand grenades from his Marines, Sergeant ABSHIRE boldly exposed himself to the enemy forced forming on line for the assault. Fearlessly maneuvering across the fire-swept terrain, he threw several grenades into the midst of the hostile soldiers, temporarily disrupting their attack. Returning to his unit, he moved from position to position, shouting words of encouragement to his men and pinpointing hostile targets. Upon becoming dangerously low of ammunition, he ordered his Marines to withdraw and resolutely provided covering fire, which enabled his men to reach positions of relative safety. After expending his ammunition, he was attempting to rejoin his unit when he was mortally wounded by a burst of enemy fire. By his superior leadership, intrepid fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty, Sergeant ABSHIRE inspired all those who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."
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