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SERGEANT RICHARD FRANKLIN ABSHIRE POST OFFICE BUILDING
(House of Representatives - June 26, 2012)

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[Pages H3997-H3998]
         SERGEANT RICHARD FRANKLIN ABSHIRE POST OFFICE BUILDING

  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 3412) to designate the facility of the United States 
Postal Service located at 1421 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville, 
Louisiana, as the ``Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post Office 
Building''.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 3412

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SERGEANT RICHARD FRANKLIN ABSHIRE POST OFFICE 
                   BUILDING.

       (a) Designation.--The facility of the United States Postal 
     Service located at 1421 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville, 
     Louisiana, shall be known and designated as the ``Sergeant 
     Richard Franklin Abshire Post Office Building''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to be 
     a reference to the ``Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post 
     Office Building''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Farenthold) and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Clay) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.


                             General Leave

  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, H.R. 3412, introduced by the gentleman from Louisiana 
(Mr. Boustany), would designate the facility of the United States 
Postal Service located at 1421 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville, 
Louisiana, as the Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post Office 
Building. This bill was introduced on November 14, 2011, and was 
reported from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on 
February 7.
  Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire was born on October 20, 1944, in 
Louisiana and served in the United States Marine Corps. Sergeant 
Abshire was awarded the Navy Cross 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 May 2, 1968.
  Sergeant Abshire's unit and a sister company launched a coordinated 
attack against a well entrenched North Vietnamese Army force occupying 
the village of Dinh To, Quang Tri Province. By his superb leadership, 
courageous fighting and selfless devotion to duty, Sergeant Abshire 
inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the 
United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He 
gallantly gave his life for his country. Sergeant Abshire died on May 
2, 1968.
  Madam Speaker, Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire is a very worthy 
designee of this postal facility naming. I urge all Members to join me 
in support of this bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CLAY. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, 
I'm pleased to join my colleagues in

[[Page H3998]]

consideration of H.R. 3412, to designate the facility of the U.S. 
Postal Service located at 1421 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville, 
Louisiana, as the Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post Office 
Building.
  As was mentioned, Sergeant Richard Abshire served as the platoon 
sergeant with Company G, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, Ninth 
Marines Amphibious Brigade, during the Vietnam War.
  As was also mentioned, he was in a heavy firefight. Upon entering the 
village, Sergeant Abshire and his unit came under heavy enemy fire. The 
heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire halted the company, and 
Sergeant Abshire was directed to establish a defensive position with 
advantageous firing positions.
  As the hostilities increased, it became apparent that the Vietnamese 
were preparing to launch a counterattack. Sergeant Abshire exposed 
himself to enemy fire to deploy the grenades that temporarily 
disoriented the enemy.
  Returning to his unit, Sergeant Abshire moved along the line, 
shouting words of encouragement, and directing his unit's fire. The 
sergeant then provided covering fire as his unit pulled back. After 
expending his remaining ammunition, he attempted to rejoin his unit 
when he was mortally wounded in the head by a burst of enemy fire. 
Sergeant Abshire was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic 
actions leading his unit and ensuring their return to safety.
  Madam Speaker, if anyone deserves a postal facility named after them, 
it is Sergeant Abshire.
  I urge the passage of the bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to my neighbor from 
the east, from the great State of Louisiana (Mr. Boustany).
  Mr. BOUSTANY. I thank my friend from Texas for yielding time to me, 
and I thank the committee for bringing this resolution to the House 
floor today.
  Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3412, to designate the 
facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1421 Veterans 
Memorial Drive in Abbeville, Louisiana, as the Sergeant Richard 
Franklin Abshire Post Office Building, and I want to thank the 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee for bringing this bill to the 
floor.
  Today, it is really an honor for me to stand here today to celebrate 
the life of United States Marine Corps Sergeant Richard F. Abshire, an 
extraordinary hero of the Vietnam War. A native of Abbeville, 
Louisiana, in my district, the heart of Cajun country, Sergeant Abshire 
graduated from Abbeville High School in 1962 and then attended the 
University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, my hometown.
  Serving in Vietnam from December 1967 until May 1968, a young 
Sergeant Abshire had given over 3 years of service to his country in 
the Marine Corps. On May 2, 1968, while serving in Quang Tri Province 
in the Republic of Vietnam, Sergeant Abshire led a coordinated attack 
against an entrenched North Vietnamese force in the village of Dinh To.
  Under heavy small arms and automatic weapon fire, Sergeant Abshire 
displayed extraordinary valor and leadership in leading his men to 
safety, sacrificing himself in the process.

                              {time}  1540

  Upon entrance to the village of Dinh To, Sergeant Abshire's men began 
sustaining heavy losses from the better positioned North Vietnamese 
troops. Acting quickly, the sergeant directed his men to establish a 
defensive perimeter, aiming a heavy volume of fire into the enemy 
emplacements. Then realizing the enemy was preparing a counterattack, 
Sergeant Abshire quickly obtained a number of hand grenades from his 
fellow marines. Navigating the fiery open terrain while selflessly 
exposing himself to enemy fire, Abshire threw several grenades toward 
the enemy, disrupting their attack. Returning to his men, Sergeant 
Abshire moved from position to position, shouting encouragement and 
directing fire.
  Upon realizing they were dangerously low on ammunition, Abshire 
directed his men to fall back while he resolutely provided cover fire 
until they could reach safety. After expending the last of his 
ammunition, Sergeant Abshire was mortally wounded by a burst of enemy 
fire, laying down his life for his fellow marines and his country.
  Sergeant Abshire's actions are an inspiration to the marines he 
fought beside and the country he fought for. Because of his heroic 
actions, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery in 
a combat zone. Shortly after Sergeant Abshire's death, his mother 
received the Navy Cross for gallantry on his behalf in Lafayette, 
Louisiana, from Brigadier General Walter S. McIlhenny.
  Today I join the town of Abbeville in honoring this fallen hero with 
the dedication of their post office to the name of Sergeant Richard 
Franklin Abshire for his extraordinary valor in battle. As we honor 
Sergeant Abshire today, we must also recognize our present-day heroes 
serving around the globe, those who have fallen and those who continue 
to fight for our freedoms. We thank you as well as the families of all 
of our Armed Forces.
  I ask my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. CLAY. Madam Speaker, I have no further speakers. I urge passage 
of H.R. 3412, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I join with the gentleman from 
Louisiana and the gentleman from Missouri in urging all of my 
colleagues and House Members to support the passage of H.R. 3412, 
renaming and creating the Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post 
Office.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Farenthold) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 3412.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. CLAY. Madam Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a 
quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not 
present.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.
  The point of no quorum is considered withdrawn.

                          ____________________




    

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