Warner, Kaine, McCain introduce legislation honoring Phyllis Galanti’s service to America’s military families

congressU.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senate Armed Services Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have introduced bipartisan legislation honoring the late Phyllis Galanti’s service to America’s military men and women and their families by naming the outdoor arboretum at Richmond’s McGuire VA Medical Center The Phyllis Galanti Memorial Arboretum.

Mrs. Galanti, who passed away in April 2014 at the age of 73, became a national advocate for the estimated 600 American POWs when her husband, Lt. Cmdr. Paul Galanti, was shot down over North Vietnam on June 17, 1966. During her husband’s 2,432 day incarceration in a Vietnamese POW camp, Phyllis Galanti advocated for humane treatment and release of American POWs, serving as national chairman of the National League of Families and Friends of POWs and MIAs in Southeastern Asia.

The legislation honors Phyllis Galanti by naming an existing outdoor arboretum featuring gardens, walkways and benches in her honor, including the addition of appropriate signage.

“Phyllis Galanti’s story is a tremendous testament to what is possible through unselfish service to others. It is our hope that permanently honoring Phyllis Galanti in this way will allow us to continue sharing her story of perseverance and patriotism for years to come,” Sen. Warner said. “Her role in fighting on behalf of all of our POWs and MIAs reminds us that our military families also sacrifice for our country.”

“Phyllis Galanti dedicated her life to ensuring the humane treatment and safe return of U.S. prisoners of war and hostages from around the world,” said Sen. Kaine. “Designating such a beautiful space in her name – one that will be enjoyed by generations of servicemembers and their families to come – is a fitting tribute to her decades of service to Virginia and our country.”

“Phyllis Galanti dedicated her life to advocating for American soldiers missing in action, or held as prisoners of war, including her loving husband and my dear friend Paul, who spent nearly seven years as a POW during the Vietnam War,” said Sen. McCain, who spent more than 5 years in captivity as a POW in North Vietnam. “This designation is a tribute to Phyllis’s remarkable life and will serve as a lasting memory for the community she loved.”

The text of the legislation is available here.

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