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New VA center to be named for Abie Abraham

WASHINGTON — The late Abie Abraham will have the new VA Butler Healthcare medical center named for him.

Abraham was a World War II veteran who died in 2012.

The medical center is being built in Center Township.

The U.S. House by a unanimous voice vote Tuesday approved the bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of Butler, R-3rd, to honor Abraham.

Kelly delivered remarks in the House in support of his bill, H.R. 5317, to designate the Department of Veterans Affairs health care center as the Abie Abraham VA Clinic.

According to the release from Kelly’s office, Abraham of Lyndora during World War II, 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. He survived malaria and starvation until he was rescued by the 6th Rangers.

Abraham stayed behind at the request of Gen. 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 to see that they were each properly buried.

After his promotion in 1945, Abraham came back to the United States where he was a recruiter, and then also served two years in Germany until his retirement with 30 years of service as a master sergeant.

Abraham received numerous medals, including the Purple Heart, and was featured in several documentaries on The Discovery Channel and The History Channel.

Abraham was a volunteer at VA Butler Healthcare, where he spent 36,851 service hours caring for veterans.