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Miller pushes to rename VA medical center for late Rep. Bill Young

Oct. 23, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Bill Young
Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., died Oct. 18 at age 82. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., is seeking a name change for the Bay Pines, Fla., VA to honor the long-time military advocate. (Cliff Owen / AP)
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The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman is seeking a name change for the Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Fla., to honor long-time military advocate Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young, who recently passed away.

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., will introduce legislation to memorialize the long-serving Republican and former Army National Guardsman to name the facility the “C.W. Bill Young Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.”

“America’s veterans knew no greater advocate than Rep. Bill Young,” Miller said Wednesday. “During his time in public office, Bill was a tireless supporter of veterans as well as America’s service men and women. That’s why naming this VA facility, which serves so many of those whose lives Bill touched, is such a fitting way to honor his life’s work.”

Young died Oct. 18 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., at the age of 82.

He was first elected to Congress in 1970 and had served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel at various times as well as chairman of the full committee.

Young strongly advocated for wounded troops, and he and his wife, Beverly, were frequent visitors to Walter Reed, where they visited recovering service members and their families.

He also lobbied heavily during his years in the House to expand the Bay Pines facility, a VA hospital in his district that served 97,000 veterans.

Precedent exists for naming VA facilities for veterans and lawmakers, with at least 35 major medical facilities bearing a person’s name.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the longest serving congressman and World War II veteran, has been honored with a namesake medical center in Detroit, as has former senator and World War II veteran Bob Dole, with the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, Wichita, Kan.

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