Bill introduced to name Peoria VA clinic for Bob
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[JUNE 19, 2004]
-- U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, has introduced legislation that
would honor former House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel through
the naming of the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Peoria, Ill., after the
former congressman. The legislation would officially name the
facility the Bob Michel Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient
"I know Bob was very committed to
opening this VA clinic and providing our veterans with quality
health care," said LaHood. "I cannot think of a better way to honor
his legacy than to name the Peoria clinic after Bob Michel."
Michel, who joined Speaker Dennis
Hastert in France earlier this month for ceremonies remembering the
60 anniversary of D-Day, was a decorated veteran from the European
Theater during World War II. He was a member of the Army's 39
Infantry Regiment, serving in England, France, Belgium and Germany.
He fought on the beaches of Normandy and continued through the
Battle of the Bulge. During his service he was injured by
machine-gun fire, which earned him the Purple Heart. Michel also
received two Bronze Stars and four Battle Stars.
A decade after his military service,
Michel began his distinguished congressional career. Starting in
1957 and continuing for 38 years, he served the citizens of Illinois
and the entire nation as the congressman from the 18th District of
Illinois. Michel established himself as a leader in the House,
serving six years as minority whip and culminating his career as the
House Republican leader from 1981 until he retired in 1995.
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With his background as a veteran,
Michel knew the need for quality health care for those who had
served in the military. With the same character and conviction he
used during his military service, he helped lead the charge to
establish the VA outpatient clinic in Peoria. Michel was successful
in obtaining the funds for this facility, which opened in 1979.
the legislation, which is co-sponsored by the 18 other U.S. House
members from Illinois, will be carried by Sen. Richard Durbin,
D-Ill., in the Senate.
[News release from
Rep. Ray LaHood,
18th Congressional District]