Philadelphia VA Medical Center Renaming - Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC
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Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC

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Philadelphia VA Medical Center Renaming

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz

By Jennifer Askey
Monday, February 23, 2015

Philadelphia VA Medical Center to Hold Renaming Event To Recognize Local Vietnam Medal of Honor Recipient

 On May 2, the Philadelphia VA Medical Center will host a ceremony celebrating the renaming of the facility to Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Paying tribute to a soldier who embodied courage and commitment to the country he served, the medical center will be renamed for the only Vietnam-era serviceman from the Philadelphia area to receive the Medal of Honor.

 Corporal Crescenz, a native of the West Oak Lane neighborhood, was 19 years old when he was killed in action on Nov. 20, 1968, while charging multiple North Vietnamese machine-gun bunkers during an ambush.  If not for his incredible bravery, the Corporal’s entire squad might have perished that day.

 "There can be no better representative than Michael Crescenz of the 646 Philadelphia sons lost in the Vietnam War and honored at our Memorial,” said Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund President Terry A. Williamson. “Naming the center after Michael will help ensure his extraordinary tale of courage and sacrifice on behalf of his country will remain an inspiration to us all for some time to come."  

 The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on the medical center campus, located at 3900 Woodland Avenue in University City, Philadelphia. The event, which is open to the public, will include Crescenz’s family and friends, representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Congressional offices, state officials and numerous Veterans service organizations.

 “We are looking forward to the dedication,” said Joe Griffies, Director of Veterans Affairs for WIBG 1020 AM/101.3 FM and host of The Welcome Home Show. Griffies, who served in Vietnam from 1967-1968, explained that many Veterans from the Philadelphia neighborhoods went off to fight in Vietnam ~ many came home physically and mentally wounded ~ all fought courageously. “But, on Nov. 20, 1968, very early in the morning, Michael J Crescenz, rose above his neighborhood, above his city, and above his state - and gave back much more to his country than was asked.  Michael saved a lot of men, at the risk of his life.  I believe Michael J. Crescenz is the bravest Philadelphian ever.”

 The Philadelphia VA Medical Center is only the third VA medical center to be named in honor of a Medal of Honor recipient.

 “We are planning a large, public event on May 2 to ensure the entire community has an opportunity to participate,” said Daniel Hendee, Director of the medical center. “We are expecting more than 700 people to attend this event which will honor a man who was awarded our nation’s highest military honor.”

 President Barrack Obama signed into law legislation officially renaming the Medical Center the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Dec. 16, 2014. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) and Senators Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Robert Casey, Jr. (D., Pa) sponsored the House and Senate bills to rename the facility.


 What:             Philadelphia VA Medical Center Renaming Event

 Who:               Philadelphia VA Medical Center

 When:             Saturday, May 2, 2015, at 10 a.m.

 Where:           Philadelphia VA Medical Center

                         3900 Woodland Avenue

                         Philadelphia, VA 19104



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