After a two-year process, Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-South Louisiana) was able to get a bill approved by Congress to name the Abbeville post office in honor of Abshire.
Boustany issued the following statement to announce the passage of H.R. 3412, to designate the “Sergeant Richard Franklin Abshire Post Office” in Abbeville.
The legislation was approved Friday night by the House of Representatives:
“The Town of Abbeville is proud of its fallen native son and this honor recognizes Sergeant Abshire’s valor and selfless service,” said Boustany. “His example carries through to our current service-members around the world. I am proud and thankful to have this legislation approved to honor Sergeant Abshire.”
A native of Abbeville, Sgt. Abshire graduated from Abbeville High School in 1962, then attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Serving in Vietnam from December 1967 until May 1968, a young Sergeant Abshire gave over three years of
service to his country in the Marine Corps.
On May 2, 1968 while serving in Quang Tri Province in the Republic of Vietnam, Sergeant Abshire led a coordinated attack against an entrenched North Vietnamese force in the village of Dinh To.
Under heavy small arms and automatic weapon fire, Sgt. Abshire displayed extraordinary valor and leadership in leading his men to safety, sacrificing himself in the process.
Upon entrance of the village of Dinh To, Sgt. Abshire’s men began sustaining heavy losses from the better positioned North Vietnamese.
Acting quickly, the Sergeant directed his men to establish a defensive perimeter, aiming a heavy volume of fire into the enemy emplacements.
Then, realizing the enemy was preparing a counterattack, Sergeant Abshire quickly obtained a number of hand grenades from his Marines.
Navigating the fiery open terrain while selflessly exposing himself to enemy fire, Abshire threw several grenades toward the enemy, disrupting their attack.
Returning to his men, Sergeant Abshire moved from position to position, shouting encouragement and directing fire.
Upon realizing they were dangerously low on ammunition, Abshire directed his men to fall back while he resolutely provided cover fire until they could reach safety.
After expending the last of his ammunition, Sergeant Abshire was mortally wounded by a burst of enemy fire, laying down his life for his fellow Marines.
Sergeant Abshire’s actions were an inspiration to the Marines he fought beside and the country he fought for.
Because of his heroic actions, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery in a combat zone, the 2nd highest decorated Medal of Honor.
Shortly after Sergeant Abshire’s death, his mother received the Navy Cross for Gallantry on his behalf in Lafayette, Louisiana from Brigadier General Walter S. McIlhenny.