MISHAWAKA, Ind. — The Veterans Affairs Clinic in Mishawaka, Indiana is now named the “Jackie Walorski VA Clinic” after the late House representative and congresswoman.
The Indiana state delegation in Washington DC introduced a bipartisan resolution last week to rename the St. Joseph Department of Veterans Affairs clinic and on Friday the bill, H.R.8656, passed.
According to a news release from US Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana’s 3rd District, the bipartisan bill passed unanimously. Banks said in the release that the feeling was bittersweet.
“Today was a sad day in Congress without my friend Jackie Walorski. Her presence was sorely missed by all who knew her. Rep. Walorski was a fierce advocate for the veterans in her district and it is my hope naming the Mishawaka VA clinic in her honor will help preserve her legacy as one of our nation’s finest public servants. I want to thank Leader McCarthy for his help in securing the passage of this legislation and Speaker Pelosi for bringing this bill up for a vote.”Rep. Jim Banks
Walorski, along with her communications director Emma Thomson and district director Zach Potts, died in a car accident Wednesday while driving in Indiana’s second district, which she represented. She is survived by her husband Dean Swihart.
“I can think of a no more fitting tribute than to name a VA facility in Indiana’s 2nd district after my friend Rep. Jackie Walorski,” Banks said when the bill was introduced. “Jackie fought tirelessly to serve veterans in her district and renaming this facility in her honor ensures Rep. Walorski’s legacy of public service will live on for a long time to come.”
Walorski had a past connection to Veterans Affairs, making the name change all the more symbolic.
“Rep. Walorski served on the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for two terms, a role in which she championed important reforms to improve the quality and accessibility of services for our nation’s military veterans and the lives of veteran constituents at home,” a release read.