A bill to rename a post office in Whittier in honor of the late Jose Ramos, an Army combat medic who worked to establish a day honoring veterans of the Vietnam War in which he served, was passed Wednesday by the House of Representatives.
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Norwalk, introduced HR 3144 to designate the U.S. Postal Service facility at 8520 Michigan Ave. as the “Jose Ramos Post Office Building.” The legislation will now go to the Senate for consideration.
When she announced her intent to introduce the bill in April, Sanchez said Ramos, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2017, was “a powerful advocate for veterans in our community, in our state, and across the country.”
His wife Sylvia still lives in Whittier, the lawmaker said.
After the war, Ramos, a 1968 Purple Heart recipient who was wounded in the war, worked at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.
He retired in 1999 and spent much of his time advocating on behalf of veterans. As a result of Ramos’ efforts, many states, including California, have established March 29 or 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, Sanchez said.
Ramos was born in East Los Angeles and enlisted in the Army in 1965, while a sophomore at Garfield High School.
“Upon returning home, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder yet his passion and commitment to our country and his fellow service members did not end,” Sanchez said in remarks Wednesday on the House floor.
“Many of our veterans at the time found themselves caught in and confused by the crossfire of the public debate over the war in Vietnam,” she said. “At times, some faced sharp criticism and isolation. Mr. Ramos saw this and decided to do something about it. He dedicated his time delivering a message of his experience and those of his fellow veterans to those that would listen at universities, schools and prisons. He undertook a grueling cross-country bicycle trek to draw attention to and advocate for the long overdue welcome home that Vietnam War veterans never received.”
Sanchez said renaming the Whittier post office in his honor “is a fitting tribute to Jose Ramos, a small token of gratitude from a grateful nation for his service.”