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Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Speaker, when I first came to Congress, one of my earliest observations was the burden of veterans in my district to get to the nearest full-service veterans' health facility. In fact, I even took the drive from Stockton, California, to Palo Alto. It took all day. It became a top priority of mine to bring veterans a facility in my district to reduce the burden of the lengthy travel for local veterans.
My son Michael, who convinced me to run for Congress in 2004, himself a veteran, once told me of all of my accomplishments in Congress, I would be the proudest of what I had done for veterans. He was absolutely right.
The VA clinic currently under construction in French Camp is one of my proudest accomplishments. As we move forward to opening its doors, it is only fitting that this facility honor a local hero.
Master Sergeant Richard A. Pittman was born in French Camp and served with heroism during the Vietnam war. As his unit was moving along a trail near the demilitarized zone, a group of marines ahead of him came under attack.
Upon hearing this, Lance Corporal Pittman rushed to the aid of his fellow comrades, successfully destroying the enemy's weapons while under heavy enemy fire. He went on to aid additional wounded marines further along the trail, fighting back an attack by 30 to 40 enemy fighters and forcing the enemy to withdraw.
His actions that day saved many wounded comrades and led to him being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
I knew Richard Pittman personally, and he was a true patriot. He was unassuming and did not seek out attention or publicity.
My congressional district and beyond mourned his passing. It is only fitting to name this new community-based outreach clinic, or CBOC, after Master Sergeant Richard A. Pittman.
I ask my colleagues to please join me in voting ``yes'' on H.R. 6722 and officially designating this new facility as the Richard A. Pittman VA Clinic.
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