H.R. 3197: To name the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Spokane, Washington, as the "Mann-Grandstaff Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center"

H.R. 3197

To name the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Spokane, Washington, as the "Mann-Grandstaff Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center"

Date
December 19, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3197, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on October 13, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3197 would designate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center in Spokane, Washington, as the "Mann-Grandstaff Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.”

Background

Private First Class (PFC) Joe E. Mann served in World War II and received the Congressional Medal of Honor after he was killed by throwing himself on a live enemy grenade to shield his fellow soldiers.  According to the official award citation:

“On 18 September 1944, in the vicinity of Best., Holland, his platoon, attempting to seize the bridge across the Wilhelmina Canal, was surrounded and isolated by an enemy force greatly superior in personnel and firepower. Acting as lead scout, Pfc. Mann boldly crept to within rocket-launcher range of an enemy artillery position and, in the face of heavy enemy fire, destroyed an 88mm. gun and an ammunition dump. Completely disregarding the great danger involved, he remained in his exposed position, and, with his M-1 rifle, killed the enemy one by one until he was wounded 4 times. Taken to a covered position, he insisted on returning to a forward position to stand guard during the night. On the following morning the enemy launched a concerted attack and advanced to within a few yards of the position, throwing hand grenades as they approached. One of these landed within a few feet of Pfc. Mann. Unable to raise his arms, which were bandaged to his body, he yelled "grenade" and threw his body over the grenade, and as it exploded, died. His outstanding gallantry above and beyond the call of duty and his magnificent conduct were an everlasting inspiration to his comrades for whom he gave his life.”

 

Platoon Sergeant Bruce Alan Grandstaff served in the Vietnam War and received the Congressional Medal of Honor after being mortally wounded by enemy rocket fire while defending his position and refusing medical aid.  From his official award citation:

“His platoon was advancing through intermittent enemy contact when it was struck by heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire from 3 sides. As he established a defensive perimeter, P/Sgt. Grandstaff noted that several of his men had been struck down. He raced 30 meters through the intense fire to aid them but could only save 1. Denied freedom to maneuver his unit by the intensity of the enemy onslaught, he adjusted artillery to within 45 meters of his position. When helicopter gunships arrived, he crawled outside the defensive position to mark the location with smoke grenades. Realizing his first marker was probably ineffective, he crawled to another location and threw his last smoke grenade but the smoke did not penetrate the jungle foliage. Seriously wounded in the leg during this effort he returned to his radio and, refusing medical aid, adjusted the artillery even closer as the enemy advanced on his position. Recognizing the need for additional firepower, he again braved the enemy fusillade, crawled to the edge of his position and fired several magazines of tracer ammunition through the jungle canopy. He succeeded in designating the location to the gunships but this action again drew the enemy fire and he was wounded in the other leg. Now enduring intense pain and bleeding profusely, he crawled to within 10 meters of an enemy machine gun which had caused many casualties among his men. He destroyed the position with hand grenades but received additional wounds. Rallying his remaining men to withstand the enemy assaults, he realized his position was being overrun and asked for artillery directly on his location. He fought until mortally wounded by an enemy rocket. Although every man in the platoon was a casualty, survivors attest to the indomitable spirit and exceptional courage of this outstanding combat leader who inspired his men to fight courageously against overwhelming odds and cost the enemy heavy casualties.”

Cost

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), costs related to federal building designations, which include the cost of changing the name on the building, signs, and maps, are not significant.