PASSED: Sens. Marshall, Moran Bill to Name Kansas VA Clinic After Captain Elwin “Al” Shopteese

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to name the VA outpatient clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, after Captain Elwin “Al” Shopteese. The legislation formally designates the clinic as the “Captain Elwin Shopteese Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic” or the “Captain Elwin Shopteese VA Clinic.”

Elwin Shopteese was born in Mayetta, Kansas, on July 16, 1921 and was a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Upon high school graduation, he immediately enlisted in the Kansas National Guard and became a member of Company E, 137th Infantry Regiment. Shopteese and his company were involved in several battles across Europe during World War II, including the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He received a battlefield commission for his leadership while in combat at Omaha Beach. Shopteese earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service during World War II and returned to Kansas to attend Haskell University in 1946 before his service in the Korean War.

After returning from the war, Shopteese began a life of service for his fellow Native Americans, specifically the Potawatomi. He served as a Tribal Council member and was directly involved in the creation of the Indian Community Alcoholism Resources Expeditors (I.C.A.R.E.) Recovery Home, where he served as executive director until the time of his passing on June 25, 1992.

“After much anticipation, Captain Elwin Shopteese is receiving the recognition that he rightfully deserves,” said Sen. Marshall. “With the passage of this legislation, Captain Shopteese’s unwavering service to our nation and Kansas will be properly memorialized and celebrated in his hometown community for generations. I am honored to see the dedication of this clinic in Shopteese’s honor pass. May his legacy live on forever.”

“I am pleased the Senate passed this piece of legislation that honors a Kansas servicemember, who dedicated his life to his country and community,” said Sen. Moran. “In recognition of Captain Shopteese’s service for our country and his service to the Native American community upon his return home, this legislation honors his legacy and preserves his story for generations to come. I am grateful for its passage.” 

This legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives to be considered.

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