12/09/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/09/2022 19:39
Washington D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock's (D-GA) bipartisan bill to rename the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center as the "Joseph Maxwell Cleland Atlanta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center" in honor of the late Senator Max Cleland of Georgia was signed into law. The bill had previously passed the House, 356-62 and passed the Senate unanimously in July. Senator Warnock has been a leading voice in this bicameral, bipartisan effort alongside Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Representative Nikema Williams (D-GA-05). The bipartisan Senator Johnny Isakson VA Regional Office Act of 2022, which the Senator cosponsored and would designate the VA facility in Decatur, Georgia, as the "Senator Johnny Isakson Department of Veterans Affairs Atlanta Regional Office," was also signed into law today.
"Max Cleland was an empathetic leader and a passionate patriot with a warrior's heart for our veterans and for Georgia," said Senator Reverend Warnock. "It was a great privilege to bring Republicans and Democrats together to honor a man of Senator Cleland's magnitude. His life and legacy will live forever in our hearts, and I'm proud his name will live on as it dons the Atlanta VA Medical Center."
"Senator Cleland was a hero, a patriot, a public servant, and a friend. In renaming the Atlanta VA Medical Center in his honor, we honor his service and sacrifice by pressing forward to ensure all veterans in Georgia receive the highest-level of care they've rightfully earned," said Senator Jon Ossoff.
Max Cleland lost three limbs in Vietnam defending our nation's freedoms, but that did not stop him from a decades-long career serving in public office and advocating for veterans. Senator Cleland noted he was called to service; after retiring from the military, he servedas a Georgia State Senator, led the U.S. Veterans Administration under President Jimmy Carter, served as Georgia Secretary of State, and later served in the U.S. Senate. He was a recipient of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for courageous action in combat. In 2009, President Obama nominated Cleland to serve as the Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Cleland's patriotism and love for mankind were often admired by his colleagues and the many who loved him.