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US Senate agrees to name Huntington VA facility after Williams

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate passed a resolution Thursday to rename the Huntington Veteran Affairs Medical Center after West Virginia’s only living Medal of Honor recipient.

Hershel “Woody” Williams, of Fairmont, is the state’s only living Medal of Honor recipient and a World War II veteran. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for 35 years.

Williams, 93, currently travels across the country to advocate for Gold Star families, who have lost an immediate serving family member.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., released a joint statement Thursday in support of the measure.

“It is only fitting that a West Virginia VA Medical Center be named to honor the service and sacrifice of Medal of Honor recipient and West Virginia icon, Woody Williams,” Manchin said. “I want to say to Woody how much I appreciate his friendship, his steadfast loyalty to his fellow Veterans, his selflessness, and his diligence in advocating for Veterans and their families.”

“There are so many reasons that Woody deserves this honor, but top among them is his unwavering service to this country and to West Virginia,” Capito added. “He has touched many lives over the years and has dedicated his own life to serving others. I’m proud to call him a friend, and I’m thrilled that we are able to acknowledge his courage, his compassion, and his service in this way.”

Williams said in a press release he was humbled by the move.

“I am very grateful to all those who have worked toward making this a possibility, especially Brian Nimmo, the Huntington Medical Center Director who helped initiate the idea for this great honor and Senators Manchin and Capito for their special support and assistance in making it a reality,” he noted.

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., introduced a bill on Aug. 22 to rename the Huntington facility in Williams’ honor. Reps. David McKinley and Alex Mooney co-sponsored the legislation.

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