House Unanimously Passes Kelly Bill to Name Butler VA Health Clinic After Local Hero Abie Abraham
Rep. Kelly introduced bill to honor Butler County World War II veteran, gave dedication on House floor
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) delivered remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday evening in support of his bill (H.R. 5317) to designate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care center in Center Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as the “Abie Abraham VA Clinic.” After his dedication, the legislation was approved by the House by a unanimous voice vote.
From Rep. Kelly's dedication:
Abie Abraham, of Lyndora, Pennsylvania, – who passed away in Butler in 2012 – was a man who exemplified extraordinary valor and lifelong service to the United States, in both domestic and international assignments.
Abie was stationed during World War II with the 18th Infantry in New York; three years with the 14th Infantry in Panama; 15th Infantry, unassigned in China, while the Panay was sunk; 30th Infantry in Presidio, San Francisco; and the 31st Infantry in Manila, Philippines, for nine years.
During World War II, Abie fought, was captured, endured the Bataan Death March, and, as a prisoner of war for three and a half years, was beaten, stabbed, and shot, and survived malaria and starvation until he was eventually rescued by the 6th Rangers.
Yet Abie stayed behind at the request of General Douglas MacArthur for two and a half more years disinterring the bodies of his fallen comrades from the Bataan Death March and the prison camps, helping to identify their bodies and see that they were each properly laid to rest.
After his promotion in 1945, Abie came back to the United States where he served as a recruiter, and then also served two years in Germany until his retirement with 30 years of service as a Master Sergeant.
Abie received numerous medals for his service, including the Purple Heart, and was even featured in several documentaries on The Discovery Channel and The History Channel.
Indeed, Abie's service to our country and to our veterans was truly ceaseless. From 1988 to 2011, Abie was a volunteer at VA Butler Healthcare, where he spent 36,851 service hours caring for our veterans.
Abie was also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Purple Heart Combat/Infantry Organization, the American Ex-POWs, the Disabled American Veterans, and the American Defenders of Bataan.
Abie Abraham is the epitome of the values of our nation, our military, and our veterans, and a great inspiration to all Americans. It is truly fitting that the new health care center in Butler County, Pennsylvania, be named after him.