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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham to present Distinguished Service Cross to Opelousas WWII hero's family

October 16, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, will present the Distinguished Service Cross to the family of Chaplain Lt. Joseph Verbis Lafleur in a ceremony in Opelousas tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

Father Lafleur earned the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor, for his countless acts of bravery following the sinking of unit's steamship and his years imprisoned in Japanese POW camps.

Father Lafleur's heroism has been recognized with a monument in Arlington National Cemetery, a shrine in the St. Landry Catholic Church, and a monument in front of the St. Landry Catholic Church. Hundreds of people from the Opelousas community and surrounding areas are expected to attend the medal presentation ceremony.

Last year, Dr. Abraham led the House effort to pass legislation to award Father Lafleur with the Distinguished Service Cross. Sen. Bill Cassidy offered the companion bill in the Senate. More on those efforts can be found here.

WHO: Congressman Ralph Abraham, MD; Father James Brady, pastor of the St. Landry Catholic Church

WHAT: Presentation of Father Lafleur's Distinguished Service Cross. More on the medal can be found here.

WHEN: 9 a.m. Central Time, Tuesday, Oct. 17

WHERE: St. Landry Catholic Church, 1020 N. Main St., Opelousas