Name a US Navy Vessel Honoring the late US Congressman Larry McDonald
Larry McDonald joined the U.S. Navy, serving in active duty for four years as a Navy physician and flight surgeon. After completing his active duty tour, he continued in the Naval Reserve, advancing to the rank of Captain. He continued a medical career and then began running for office. He is also the only US Congressman who was killed or captured while in office as a victim of Cold War efforts by the Soviets when they shot down Korean Air Lines flight 007 near Moneron Island on September 1, 1983. We should never forget Larry McDonald and his great leadership. Therefore, I ask that a US Navy vessel be named after him. Lawrence Patton McDonald was born on April 1, 1935, in DeKalb County, GA. After receiving a doctorate in Medicine from Emory University in 1957, Lawrence, or ``Larry,'' McDonald courageously served his country for four years, primarily as an overseas flight surgeon. In 1966, he settled in Cobb County where he practiced medicine. During his medical career he was a member of the State Medical Education Board, the National Historic Society, and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce. On January 1, 1975, Larry McDonald began his first term in Congress. Congressman McDonald dedicated his political life to the defense of the United States Constitution. During his congressional career, Congressman McDonald was presented with the Defender of Individual Rights award by the National Rifle Association. He was also a member of the American Pistol and Revolver Association, Advisory Board of the National Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Gun Owners of America, National Advisory Council of the Second Amendment Foundation, and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Congressman McDonald was a strong supporter of the right to life. He was an active member of the Georgia Right to Life Committee, Board of Advisors for American Life Lobby, Congressional Advisory Council of Christian Voice, Advisory Council of Birthright of Atlanta, and the National Pro-Life Political Action Committee. Throughout Congressman McDonald's eight years as a Member of Congress, he received many awards and acknowledgments. In 1977, he was presented with the Bernardo O'Higgins Award by the government of Chile. In 1978, he was given a certificate of appreciation for the National Human Rights Committee for POWs and MIAs. In 1980, the Naval Reserve Association named him ``Man of the Year,'' and presented him with the Distinguished Service Award. In 1981, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society presented him with its distinguished service award for his leadership on national defense issues. He was also honored by the American Security Council for his work in the same area. Congressman McDonald also consistently received the Watchdog of the Treasury Award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Congressman McDonald had a strong interest in foreign affairs. He was one of six lawmakers selected to attend a three-day conference commemorating the 30th anniversary of the United States Mutual Defense Treaty with South Korea. However, he was the only Member of Congress aboard Korea Airlines Flight 007 when it apparently strayed into Soviet airspace and was shot down without provocation, by a Soviet fighter, on August 31, 1983. Larry McDonald is author of the books "We hold these truths: A reverent review of the US Constitution", "Trotskyism and Terror: The Strategy of Revolution" and the German title "Der Krieg im Frieden: Die Strategie des sowjetischen Friedenskampfes gegen die USA". Larry McDonald was survived by his wife, Kathy, and his five children, Larry, Lauren, Tryggvi Paul, Callie Grace, and Mary Elizabeth. He is remembered for his distinguished career in Congress and the many lives he touched not only in the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, but across America and around the world. In 1998 a stretch of interstate 75 in Georgia has been named after him. Congressman Larry McDonald's career clearly demonstrates why we should name a Navy vesel in his honor. I ask you to name a future US Navy vesel after the Honorable Lawrence Patton McDonald, deceased Member of Congress.