Washington, D.C.— Congressman Jeff Duncan issued the following statement regarding the passage of bills H.R. 91 and H.R. 92 he introduced to rename post offices in Easley and Pickens to honor two fallen South Carolina heroes from the Third District. Both pieces of legislation are cosponsored by the entire South Carolina delegation. The bills passed the House of Representatives and will head to the Senate. H.R. 91 passed with a vote of 412 to 3 and H.R. 92 passed with a vote of 405 to 3. Congressman Duncan honored both fallen veterans on the House floor. Click HERE and HERE for his remarks.
“Private First Class Barrett Lyle Austin of Easley and Specialist Four Charles Johnson, Jr. of Pickens are fallen sons of South Carolina who deserve honor and appreciation for giving their lives for our nation,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan. “I was honored to recognize these heroes on the House floor and hope to see these bills become law to ensure these young men are remembered for their sacrifice and bravery.”
“Private First Class Austin lost his life from injuries sustained during an attack in Afghanistan in 2013, and Specialist Four Johnson was killed in action in Vietnam in 1966. Decades apart, both soldiers died American heroes,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan. “We know freedom is not free and never more than a generation away from extinction – we are forever thankful for the sacrifice of these brave men who deserve our utmost appreciation for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Private First Class Barrett Lyle Austin
Not long after Private First Class Barrett Lyle Austin won his stripes as a private first class in the Army, he was driving an armored truck on patrol in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan when insurgents attacked and a bomb exploded, and he suffered massive head and chest trauma. PFC Austin died in Germany days later at age 20 on April 21, 2013. PFC Austin was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Palmetto State Hero award, and the SC Governor’s Award for Extraordinary Sacrifice and Heroism. PFC Austin was an avid sportsman, a 2011 graduate of Pickens High School, and a member of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley.
Specialist Four Charles Johnson, Jr.
Specialist Four Charles Johnson, Jr. was killed in action on March 30, 1966, in Vietnam and was the first casualty from Pickens County. Specialist Charles Johnson of Pickens, South Carolina began his military career in the Army at only 17 years old and was one of three brothers to serve in Vietnam at the same time. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and the National Defense Service Medal, among other commendations. Specialist Johnson was a 1958 graduate of Clear View High School in Easley and was a member of Griffin Ebenezer Baptist Church.