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David B.
Republican VA 7

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  • Honoring the Life and Work of ``Fearless’’ Phyllis Galanti

    by Representative Dave Brat

    Posted on 2015-12-10

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    BRAT asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. BRAT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and work of ``Fearless'' Phyllis Galanti, an amazing woman and a true American hero.

    On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 2693 which honors Phyllis Galanti by naming the arboretum at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, as the Phyllis E. Galanti Arboretum.

    When her husband, Paul Galanti, was shot down and taken as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam in June 1966, Phyllis did not respond with fear but, instead, became a tireless advocate for American POWs around the world.

    ``Fearless Phyllis,'' as she became known, sought an audience with the North Vietnamese leaders, collected almost half a million letters from the Richmond area, and personally delivered them to the North Vietnamese embassy in Stockholm. She also gave hundreds of policy presentations to leaders like President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, becoming nationally known for her dedication to bringing home POWs.

    Mr. Speaker, after over 7 years of separation, Paul and Phyllis were reunited in February of 1973 in Norfolk, Virginia. Even with her husband home, Phyllis continued her work, confronting not only Vietnam, but also the Soviet Union and Iran in her tireless quest to bring our boys home, eventually earning The American Legion Service Medal.

    Her dedication to our prisoners of war is truly inspirational. We all are grateful that this bill passed the House, and I owe a special thanks to former POW Representative Sam Johnson; Veterans Committee Chairman Jeff Miller; my good friend from Richmond, Representative Bobby Scott; and the entire Virginia delegation.


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