President Trump signed bill making the change two weeks ago
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed legislation to change the name of Bend's VA clinic to the Robert D. Maxwell VA Clinic, in honor of the Bend man who was the nation's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient when he passed away last year.
On what would have been Maxwell's 100th birthday, family, friends and fellow veterans were on hand Monday to celebrate Maxwell's legacy and the unveiling of the new name.
“I hope that it represents to them (his family) the nation's gratitude for his service," Darwin Goodspeed the director of VA Portland Health Care System said. "I know certainly for the veterans who use this clinic, it speaks volumes to them that the clinic represents someone in their community who was such a national hero and national treasure.”
It's only the second VA clinic under the Portland VA health system's umbrella to be renamed in honor of a veteran.
“Today, we celebrate not only his 100th birthday, but a lifetime of service and dedication with the birth of a legacy," fellow Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry said. "I am proud of the recognition of this clinic in his name.”
Bob's friend and fellow Medal of Honor recipient James Taylor also was at the ceremony. The two met more than 50 years ago.
“He was 48 and I was 31," Taylor said. "So that’s a long friendship.”
Taylor told NewsChannel 21 that the honor of having a VA clinic named after you is "wonderful."
“It’s wonderful for him and his family and his grandkids and great-grandkids," Taylor said. "Knowing that their father, grandfather was such a wonderful man, not only as an individual but a patriot and he loves his god and loves his country.”
The clinic will be unveiling a new sign with the new name later this year.