House passes Harper Bill to honor fallen soldier


WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today introduced by Representative Gregg Harper (R–Miss.) to name the Hickory Post Office in honor of Sergeant Matthew L. Ingram, a Purple Heart recipient who died while serving in Afghanistan.

“Naming this facility will present a constant reminder of the sacrifices Sgt. Ingram and other Mississippians have made though their service to our country,” said Congressman Gregg Harper. “Matthew’s love for his country and able leadership took him from Hickory, Mississippi to Afghanistan and his courage and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

The legislation, H.R. 4139, would designate the United States Postal Service facility in Hickory as the “Sergeant Matthew L. Ingram Post Office” after the 25-year-old Newton County native. Ingram died on August 21, 2009 from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat in Afghanistan. The blast occurred while his unit was under small arms fire from enemy forces according to the Department of Defense.

Ingram served as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Previously, Ingram had received the Purple Heart for injuries endured while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. He fulfilled basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia after enlisting in the Army in the summer of 2003. Ingram was reassigned to South Korea where he spent 10 months before his entire brigade was deployed to Iraq for a one year tour. In May of 2009, the soldier received his third assignment to Afghanistan.

On November 19, 2009, the Hickory Board of Alderman passed a resolution signed by Mayor Tommy Nichols supporting the naming of this facility. Additionally, State Senator Terry C. Burton (R–Newton) offered his endorsement of H.R. 4139.

“Sgt. Matthew Ingram heroically gave his life for his country in America’s War on Terror,” said Senator Burton. “While this country can never repay his family for his sacrifice for freedom, it is a fitting tribute to this fallen warrior to name the United States Post Office at Hickory, Mississippi, in his honor. May we never forget Matthew Ingram or any of the other heroes of this conflict.”

The legislation will now move to the U.S. Senate for consideration. Co-sponsors include Representatives Travis Childers, Gene Taylor and Bennie G. Thompson.