Cochran's bill naming post office after military hero heads to W - - Jackson, MS

Cochran's bill naming post office after military hero heads to White House

Source: Missing Marines Source: Missing Marines
HAZLEHURST, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Legislation authored by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran to designate the “First Lieutenant Alvin Chester Cockrell, Jr. Post Office Building” in Hazlehurst has cleared its final congressional hurdle and will now be sent to the White House to become law.

Legislation to name the post office for the military hero (S.1093) was approved by the House of Representatives on Monday. The measure, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, cleared the Senate in August 2013. 

The post office is located at 130 Caldwell Drive in Hazlehurst.

“Lieutenant Cockrell's selfless service, sound character, and example of citizenship is remembered today,” Cochran said. “The naming of the post office in Hazlehurst for First Lieutenant Alvin Cockrell will honor his heroic service, his family, Hazlehurst and Copiah County.”

“I am pleased that Congress has approved this fitting tribute to First Lieutenant Cockrell,” Wicker said. “His story serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifice paid by so many of the ‘Greatest Generation.' This Act will ensure that his memory and heroism will continue to live on – especially for those in his hometown of Hazlehurst.”

Cockrell was born on September 18, 1918, in Hazlehurst. His father, Alvin Senior, was a dentist with his own practice, which allowed the family to live comfortably and send their two boys to college. 

Cockrell attended the University of Mississippi as a pre-med student; he excelled on the boxing and football teams while keeping up with his studies and training with the Marine Corps Reserve.

Cockrell enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as an 18-year-old in 1937. 

Appointed a 1st Lieutenant on Dec. 2, 1941, Cockrell was cited for “extraordinary heroism” as a platoon leader in fighting Japanese forces near Mambulo, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

He lost is life in combat there on Sept. 24, 1942, and was posthumously awarded both the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart for his distinguished service.

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