Major General Oliver W. Dillard Va Outpatient Clinic

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 14, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the very distinguished chair of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, who understands so many of these issues.

I rise in strong support of H.R. 7903, legislation to designate the VA clinic in Canton, Michigan, as the Major General Oliver Dillard VA Outpatient Clinic.

I thank my colleague, Haley Stevens, for her leadership and for listening to all the veterans and getting this piece of legislation to the floor today. She has listened to them. We will shortly share this facility. It will be in my district, but the veterans will live in both of our districts.

The recent opening of a new community-based outpatient clinic in Canton reaffirms our commitment to Michigan veterans so that they can access the care and support that they need closer to home. It will serve many veterans in southeast Michigan.

This legislation would rename the Canton CBOC in honor of Major General Oliver W. Dillard, a veteran and a trailblazer who served the Nation for 34 years.

After being drafted to Germany to serve in World War II, Major General Dillard went on to be the first Black officer to graduate from the National War College. Throughout his esteemed career, he earned nine military awards and two civilian medals.

Major General Dillard retired from military service in 1980 and resided in Canton, Michigan, until he passed. The veterans themselves from this community and beyond wanted this center to be named after him.

I am so proud to have worked on this important bipartisan legislation with my colleague, Representative Stevens. I urge all of my colleagues to support it.

My colleague and I were there when it had the soft opening. If you could have seen his family and his colleagues, the veterans he served with, with tears in their eyes, you would know why this has meaning.

I thank the Michigan delegation for supporting this effort, and I thank leadership for advancing this to the floor.

Naming the Canton clinic after Major General Dillard means his story and life will continue to inspire generations to come.