A VA hospital in Decatur may be named in honor of Johnny Isakson

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U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and a Republican colleague introduced bipartisan legislation into the Senate Thursday to name the veterans hospital in Decatur after the late Sen. Johnny Isakson.

The bill, cosponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., would designate the facility as the “Senator Johnny Isakson Department of Veterans Affairs Atlanta Regional Office.”

Isakson, who died late last year at age 76, served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs from 2015 until 2019, working to improve benefits and services for veterans and their families.

“Our veterans deserve the best, and Senator Isakson always fought for them,” Ossoff said Thursday. “Renaming the Atlanta VA in his honor will inspire us to stand up for Georgia’s veterans every day like Senator Isakson did.”

“Johnny Isakson worked tirelessly to get things done, especially when it came to his fellow veterans,” Blunt added. “He led efforts to increase accountability at the VA to make sure veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned.”

Isakson, who founded a real estate business in Cobb County, was elected to the Senate in 2004 after serving five years in the U.S. House of Representatives serving a district in Atlanta’s northern suburbs.

The Republican also was a member of the Georgia House and state Senate, becoming the only Georgian to serve in both chambers of Congress and the General Assembly.

Other cosponsors of the bill naming the VA hospital after Isakson include Georgia’s other senator, Democrat Raphael Warnock; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Isakson’s Senate career capped 45 years in public service. He retired from the Senate at the end of 2019, several years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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