Congressman Crowley Applauds House Passage of Bill to Rename Bronx Post Office After Fallen Soldier, Private Isaac T. Cortes
Washington, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), praised the House passage of his legislation to rename 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. Congressman Crowley introduced the bill (H.R. 6205) in September. After passing the House unanimously, the bill will now go to the Senate before being sent to the President for his signature.
Below are Congressman Crowley’s remarks on Pvt. Cortes as submitted for the record:
“Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6205, to honor Private Isaac T. Cortes, a Bronx native who was killed in combat in Iraq. This legislation would rename the post office in his hometown in his honor.
“Private Cortes was a son of the Bronx – he grew up in the Parkchester neighborhood, attending local public schools and Christopher Columbus High School.
“His love for his hometown led him to work as a security guard at Yankee Stadium, a job that he was so proud to hold and that inspired him to a lifetime of service. While planning to become a New York City Police Officer, he decided to strengthen his skills and serve his country by joining the U.S. Army in 2006.
“Private Cortes knew that this choice was dangerous. He also knew he would likely be sent to Iraq. His family worried for him, but he knew what he had to do.
“After training at Fort Benning and Fort Drum, Private Cortes was sent to Iraq in September of 2007. As a rifleman in the Infantry Squad with Charlie Troop, 1-71 Cavalry Squadron, Private Cortes performed weapons searches and humanitarian aid missions to help the local Iraqi people.
“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.’
On November 27, 2007, just after Thanksgiving, Private Cortes was out on one of his combat patrols when an improvised explosive device was detonated near his vehicle in Amerli, Iraq – about 100 miles north of Baghdad.
“Private Cortes was killed instantly, along with Specialist Benjamin Garrison, in the roadside attack. He was only 26 years old.
“His awards and honors include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
“The Bronx, the Congress and the nation will always remember Private Cortes as a decorated soldier. But, I would also like to take a moment to ensure we forever remember Isaac, the man.
“Isaac lived by the motto, ‘Go big or go home.’ He was known for his big heart and his loving ways, which his family continues in his honor through blood donation events and clothing, food and toy drives. He was known to his neighbors as a smiling face and a helpful hand, always willing to help carry groceries.
“Even while overseas, his family was always in his heart, including his parents, grandparents, brother, nieces, aunts, uncles and cousins. And above all, he loved the little girl that he raised as his own daughter.
“His family has kept his memory alive, and today we take the next step in honoring this Bronx native and his service to the United States.
“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. This legislation will ensure that his service and his spirit will never be forgotten.”
Congressman Crowley is the six-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx.