11.16.07

Burr Praises Renaming of Asheville Veterans Center

Presidential signature officially designates medical center

The President yesterday signed H.R. 2546, an act designating the Asheville VA Medical Center as the Charles George Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. According to the legislation, this designation became effective as soon as the President signed the bill into law. The measure passed the Senate on November 1. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in June.

"I am pleased the Asheville VA Medical Center will bear the name of a North Carolina hero," Burr said. "The story of Charles George is one of courage and valor and I hope this designation will remind everyone of the sacrifices our nation's veterans, and in particular Private George, have made for our country."

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.