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U.S. House joins Senate in passing bill to name Bend VA clinic for Robert Maxwell

Robert Maxwell
KTVZ file
Bend resident Robert Maxwell was the nation's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient when he passed away in 2019 at the age of 98.

Measure now goes to president's desk for his signature

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Sens. Jeff Merkley  and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded Wednesday's unanimous House passage of a bill introduced by the delegation to rename the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Bend after Robert Maxwell, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient who lived in Bend.   

At the time of Maxwell’s passing last year, he was the oldest Medal of Honor recipient in the nation and one of four remaining veterans from World War II to be awarded the Medal of Honor. After his courageous service, he worked as a teacher in Bend. 

"Bob Maxwell represented the best of what Oregon and America have to offer,” said Walden, who introduced the bill in the House. “Bob Maxwell was a selfless public servant and a friend to all.

"Bob’s gallantry was well known. He threw his unprotected body on a German hand grenade to protect his comrades in WWII, which earned Bob Maxwell the highest military honor, his second Silver Star, a second Purple Heart, and a Bronze Star.

"Renaming the Bend VA Clinic after Bob will honor his service and commitment to this nation, his community, and his fellow service members. I am pleased that the House and Senate both quickly passed this bill, and I look forward to President Trump signing it into law - forever ensuring Bob’s legacy is honored and his heroism is remembered," Walden said.

"From Robert Maxwell’s time in uniform during World War II to his long career as a teacher in Central Oregon, he answered the call to serve and put the needs of others first,” said Merkley, who introduced the bill in the Senate. “Naming Bend’s VA clinic after Mr. Maxwell is a fitting tribute to his service and commitment to his community. I’m pleased that this bill has now been approved by both chambers of Congress, and urge the president to sign it into law without delay."

"Robert Maxwell richly deserves this honor for his extraordinary service defending democracy in battlefields overseas and teaching young Oregonians in classrooms here at home,” Wyden said. “I’m proud to have worked on this legislation to name the VA clinic in Bend for this outstanding Oregonian, so his legacy will live on for generations to come."

Oregon’s congressional delegation  previously wrote to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs committees  in support of the renaming. The City of Bend,  American Legion Department of Oregon,Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Oregon, and  Disabled American Veterans Department of Oregon  also advocated for the change.  
There are currently six VA medical facilities across the country that are named after Medal of Honor recipients, including Loren R. Kaufman VA Clinic in The Dalles. The legislation passed the Senate last week and is now headed to President Trump’s desk for signing. 

Article Topic Follows: War-Military

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