Media contact: Jeff Schrade (202)224-9093
(Washington, DC) Members of the U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation to rename the Asheville VA Medical Center in honor of Private First Class Charles George, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during the Korean War.
The measure was approved by the House of Representatives in June and now goes to President Bush for his signature.
"Fifty-five years ago Charles George gave his life for his fellow soldiers and his country. His selfless actions in Korea earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor, our nation's highest military decoration. It is important we remember those like Private George who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I am proud the VA Medical Center in Asheville will bear his name," said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
Private First Class Charles George was born on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob George in 1932. George served with Company C, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
George received the Medal of Honor for his heroic performance during a late night raid in Korea. During the operation his unit suffered several casualties by enemy gunfire and mortars. George and two other soldiers were providing cover for troop withdrawal when an enemy soldier threw a grenade into their trench. George shouted a warning to one comrade, pushed another soldier out of danger and jumped on the grenade.
Although seriously wounded he did not cry out, saving his comrades from being detected by the enemy. He was evacuated to a forward aid station and died shortly thereafter. Private First Class Charles George was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on March 18, 1954.
The medical center serves veterans in western North Carolina and portions of South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.