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Oregon congressional delegation pushes to rename Bend VA clinic after WWII vet

A group of Oregon's federal lawmakers have introduced bills intended to name the VA clinic in Bend after Robert Maxwell, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 12:28 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of Oregon's congressional delegation have introduced legislation to rename the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Bend after World War II veteran, Medal of Honor recipient, and Bend native Bob Maxwell.

Maxwell passed away in May of 2019. Before his death, Maxwell was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient in the nation — one of only four remaining World War II veterans to have been awarded the medal.

“After the war, Mr. Maxwell returned to civilian life and continued to serve the communities he called home through teaching,” the lawmakers said. “Renaming the VA facility in Bend after Mr. Maxwell would be a fitting tribute to an American hero who meets all the criteria for such an honor.”

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Greg Walden (R-OR-2) led the push for renaming the clinic, with Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5) supporting the bills.


RELATED: Oldest Medal of Honor recipient dies at 98 in Oregon


According to a letter written by the lawmakers and addressed to the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Maxwell was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on September 7, 1944, near Besancon, France. Maxwell led a small group of soldiers, armed only with .45 caliber handguns, in defending an observation post against overwhelming odds.

During the skirmish, Maxwell threw himself on top of an enemy grenade to save the lives of his comrades. Though seriously injured by the blast, Maxwell went on to lead a full life, working as an auto mechanic teacher at Bend High School and at Lane Community College.

"For those who had the pleasure of knowing Bob, they know that his bravery and heroism were only matched by his kindness, warmth, and sense of humor," said Rep. Walden. "I was honored to call Bob Maxwell a friend. Bob’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone he interacted with and will forever be cherished in the country that he sacrificed so much to protect. It is my hope that this bipartisan legislation will swiftly move to President Trump’s desk and become law — forever ensuring Bob’s legacy is honored and his heroism is remembered."

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. According to Sen. Merkley's office, the City of Bend, American Legion Department of Oregon, Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Oregon, and Disabled American Veterans Department of Oregon support the renaming.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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