Vote today to rename Bay Pines VA Medical Center after Congressman C.W. Bill Young

7:16 AM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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file photo of Rep. Bill Young speaking with reporters



Pinellas County, Florida -- Florida lawmakers are pushing for a new honor in memory of Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, renaming the Bay Pines VA Medical Center after him.

It was work by Congressman Young that turned Bay Pines into the fourth largest VA medical center in the country.

STORY: Young's son says dad was driven to help others

And the push to rename it the Bill Young VA Medical Center has managed to get support from across Florida, including both Democrats and Republicans.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the renaming Wednesday.

A similar bill moving through the Senate is being sponsored by both Florida senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio. It's likely to get a vote next week.

There has been a hospital for veterans here Bay Pines, in southwest Pinellas County, since the 1930's.

But it was congressional earmarks of specially budgeted money, arranged by Rep. Young, that turned it into a top-of-the-line Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, starting in the 1970's.

The 22-term Republican supported the facility without reservation during his tenure in Congress, funding improvements and frequently visiting veterans at the hospital.

From military facilities to education centers, you'll find buildings honoring Rep. C. W. "Bill" Young all over Tampa Bay -- especially in Pinellas County.

But renaming Bay Pines would likely be the biggest honor, at least in terms of sheer size. Florida has more than 1.5 million military veterans and Bay Pines, along with its clinics, serves tens of thousands a year. 











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