House Committee Approves Barrar Bill Asking Congress to Rename Philadelphia VA after Local Medal of Honor Recipient

HARRISBURG – Legislation authored by Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) that beseeches Congress to rename the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center after Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz cleared its first legislative hurdle today when the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee unanimously approved it.

“Corporal Crescenz is a hero of the Vietnam War and the only Medal of Honor recipient from Philadelphia during that war,” said Barrar, majority chairman of the committee.  “He died serving our nation, and his brave actions deserve to be memorialized.  I believe renaming the Philadelphia VA in his honor is a fitting tribute.”

Crescenz earned the Medal of Honor in the Hiep Duc valley in North Vietnam in November 1968 when his company was attacked by enemy forces.  Crescenz three times successfully charged enemy bunkers, but was unfortunately killed in action while charging a fourth enemy stronghold.  Because of his courageous actions, his company was able to complete its mission.  He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on April 7, 1970.

Barrar’s House Resolution 210 will now go before the full House for consideration.  If approved, it would be sent to congressional leaders and Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation.  U.S. Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr., as well as the Philadelphia area congressional delegation, are supporting this initiative at the federal level through legislation they have introduced.     

Other legislation considered during the committee meeting included:

  • Senate Bill 302, which would require county Veterans Affairs directors to be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  This legislation was amended during the meeting to give current county directors a one-year grace period to receive certification.
  • House Bill 807, which would allow the use of fire relief funds shared by two or more fire companies to be used to send a delegate from each organization to a convention or meeting.
  • House Resolution 62, which urges the federal government to recover the remains of the crew of an aircraft that went down in 1945 in the jungles of Malaysia.

All legislation before the committee was approved and will now proceed to the full House for an up-or-down vote.

More information about Barrar and his legislative priorities is available at and

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
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