4:46 PM EST
Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO 8th

Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank the chairman and ranking member for all of the help they have given us in ensuring that the new veterans clinic in Farmington, Missouri can be named after the person who has advocated most vocally for it, and that is my good friend Bob Silvey.

You mentioned, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Silvey's service as part of the 82nd Airborne and going to the shores of France, actually parachuting in the night before the invasion of Normandy. But Bob has always been an incredible leader in the community of Farmington. As a matter of fact, when Bob asks you to do something, you would never want to say ``no,'' number one. And number two, you always want to make sure that it gets done as quickly as possible because he will not allow you to say ``no'' and he

will not allow anything not to happen. So when we originally built our smaller veterans facility in Farmington, Missouri, Bob knew the second day that we moved in that it wasn't going to be adequate enough. So he went about looking in the community for a larger space to put it on, one now that is actually adjacent to our VFW post, and it all began like that.

But I have to say that this is an important and incredible tribute to Bob Silvey, but it is also a commitment to all of our servicemen and servicewomen in Missouri and around the country. Like Bob, so many of them continue to be active members of their community, and they are working tirelessly, as Bob did, to improve the quality of veterans health care in Southern Missouri.

I was really excited in March of this year to break ground on the facility and then in August for us to move into it, and it is a state-of-the-art facility, and really it is only a larger facility but it is there in large part because Bob Silvey was relentless in pursuit of this.

Bob has been an active member of the VFW Post 5896 of Farmington, Missouri. He served as commander four times. He twice served as commander of the VFW Post in Ironton, a town south of Farmington, a couple of times. And I was very, very proud, and I know Bob was too, that the members of the VFW Post 5896 and the American Legion Post 416 in Farmington unanimously passed resolutions in support of naming the new Farmington veterans clinic after Bob Silvey.

In addition, I might want to add that members of our Missouri statehouse and the State senate wrote letters of support in naming this clinic after Bob; so this is an important tribute to him. And certainly this legislation that you all have enabled us to put on the floor today would allow the residents of Farmington, Missouri to honor one of their greatest World War II veterans and ensure that the name on the new clinic reflects the service of a great contributor to our American freedom and the

quality of our veterans' lives here at home.

Bob, I know that you are watching this on C-SPAN right now, and I hope that you know how well loved you are. I hope that you know what a leader you have been, and your commitment and your dedication to this country has been next to none. And this is a very real and fitting tribute to all that you have done to ensure that America remains the greatest country on the face of the earth.

So, Mr. Speaker, I thank very much Chairman BROWN and Ranking Member FILNER for this opportunity.