Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As post offices are set to close, Crowley wants to rename one

Another story from this week's Bronx Press. Enjoy.

By Brendan McHugh 

While news of 17 Bronx post offices fighting to stay open has been the norm, Rep. Joseph Crowley would like to see at least one other post office be renamed for a man who fought for the country. 

"Rename this post office!!!"
(OK, not really what he was yelling)
Last week, Crowley announced the reintroduction of his bill, H.R. 3413, to name the post office on West Avenue in the Bronx after Private Isaac T. Cortes, an Army soldier and Bronx native who was killed in Iraq in 2007. 

We should recognize and thank our veterans not just on Veterans Day, but every day. And, renaming this post office after Private Cortes – a true son of the Bronx and a hero in every sense of the word – is a chance to do just that,” Crowley said. “This legislation will serve as a reminder to us all of Private Cortes’ courage, integrity, spirit and sacrifice.”

Cortes was raised in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx and attended Christopher Columbus High School. He enlisted in the Army on Nov. 21, 2006, completed his individual infantry-training course in Fort Benning, Ga., and then moved on to Fort Drum before being deployed to Iraq in September 2007.

“Isaac was a great soldier and an even better son and father,” said Emily Toro, Cortes’ mother. “Isaac lived by the motto, ‘Go big or go home’ and that was evident in everything he did. I know that he would be honored to have this post office named after him so the entire community could recognize the sacrifice he made for us all.”

Jump below for the full story.

Before joining the service, Cortes was a security guard at Yankee Stadium with hopes of becoming a New York City police officer. He decided to strengthen his skills by joining the U.S. Army. 

As a rifleman in the Infantry Squad with Charlie Troop, 1-71 Cavalry Squadron, Cortes performed weapons searches and humanitarian aid missions to help the local Iraqi people. 

On Nov. 27, 2007, Cortes was one of two soldiers killed when an improvised explosive device was detonated near his vehicle in Amerli, Iraq, approximately 100 miles north of Baghdad. In honor of his service, Cortes was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He was 26 years old. 

He was also awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. 

Rep. Crowley first introduced this legislation in the 111th Congress where it passed unanimously in the House of Representatives but was not voted on in the Senate before the session of Congress ended. 

Last year, Crowley spoke in support of the bill and Cortes, highlighting his Bronx life and devotion the America. 

“Renaming the post office in the neighborhood where he grew up after him will serve as a reminder to us all of his courage, integrity and sacrifice,” Crowley said. “This legislation will ensure that his service and his spirit will never be forgotten.” 

Describing him as a man who loved his family, Crowley also said to the House that, “He loved the Army, and was prepared to make it his career. His family has described how proud he was to protect his country. He said the military was his ‘calling.’"

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