News Releases

Thursday, November 8, 2007

President Bush Signs Bill to Rename Augusta Veterans Center in Honor of Charlie Norwood
Chambliss, Isakson led legislative effort in the U.S. Senate, praise late congressman's dedication to veterans and constituents

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today applauded President Bush for signing into law legislation to rename the Augusta Veterans Affairs facility as the "Charlie Norwood Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center," in honor of the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., who passed away on February 13, 2007.

"Charlie Norwood was a selfless public servant, and he was beloved by his constituents," said Chambliss. "Even as he faced personal adversity, Charlie worked tirelessly on behalf of our country's veterans. His unceasing passion and integrity earned him the respect of countless colleagues, Georgians, and service members. I'm pleased President Bush has signed into law this legislation to dedicate the Augusta VA to his memory, because in doing so we are honoring his many years of service and his unique legacy to our state and country."

"I am so thankful for the contributions Charlie made to our state and to this Congress," Isakson said. "It is only fitting that we dedicate the Augusta VA Center to a man who was so diligent in his efforts to ensure that the treatment and services we give our veterans are equal to the sacrifice they have made for our country. I'm extremely pleased President Bush has signed into law this measure to honor a wonderful public servant."

Norwood represented Georgia's 10th Congressional District for 12 years and our nation's veterans were always his top priority. He worked to pass many laws to improve veterans' healthcare and benefits, and made certain that the Veterans Medical Center in Augusta had the resources and tools necessary to meet the needs of veterans in such a strong military community. Before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Norwood served as an Army Captain in the Vietnam War as a member of the United States Army Dental Corps and provided dental, emergency medical and surgical care for United States personnel, Vietnamese civilians and prisoners-of-war. His brave and compassionate efforts in that conflict earned him the Combat Medical Badge and two awards of the Bronze Star. He also helped develop the Dental Corps operating procedures under combat conditions, which are now standard, of delivering dentists to forward-fire bases, and providing dental treatment for military service dogs.

After his service in the Army, Norwood returned home to Augusta where he worked as a dentist on base at Fort Gordon and eventually opened his own private dental practice serving patients all around east Georgia including care for military personnel, retirees and dependents under Department of Defense programs and for low-income patients under Georgia Medicaid. Norwood maintained a life membership in the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the World Wars, and he was recognized by the Association of the United States Army for his role in protecting and improving military and veterans' healthcare through the presentation of the Cocklin Award in 1998, and through his induction into the Association's Audie Murphy Society in 1999.