Sen. Warnock wants VA hospital named for Max Cleland

Georgian members of Congress are pushing to rename the VA hospital in Decatur after Max Cleland. (Graham Douglas / Library of Congress)

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Georgian members of Congress are pushing to rename the VA hospital in Decatur after Max Cleland. (Graham Douglas / Library of Congress)

Sponsors bill in U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock is leading a bipartisan group of legislators in an effort to rename the Atlanta Veterans Affairs hospital in Decatur after Georgia politician Max Cleland.

Cleland, who held positions in state and the federal governments, including head of the VA, died Nov. 9.

“We lost a true giant of public service, a leader, difference-maker and passionate patriot with a big heart for our veterans and communities,” Warnock said in a written statement Friday.

He said it’s a privilege to bring both political parties together to honor Cleland and added, “May his life, legacy and name live on forever in our hearts and in our spirits.”

Fellow Georgia Democrats Sen. Jon Ossoff and Rep. Nikema Williams were among those who signed onto the bill to change the name of the hospital to the Joseph Maxwell Cleland Atlanta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Cleland was severely wounded in Vietnam, losing three limbs. He worked hard to recover from his wounds and went on to serve as a state legislator, Georgia Secretary of State, head of the VA, U.S. senator and in an appointed federal post overseeing battlefield monuments.