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Clinic may be named after Max Beilke

U.S. Representative Collin Peterson introduced legislation Friday that would name the new Alexandria Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient clinic after Alexandria native Max J. Beilke.

U.S. Representative Collin Peterson introduced legislation Friday that would name the new Alexandria Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient clinic after Alexandria native Max J. Beilke.

"Max Beilke served his country well and deserves to be honored for his many years of active duty, and for his commitment to soldiers after his retirement," Peterson said. "I'm sure he would be pleased to see his hometown opening a community-based outpatient clinic designed to serve veterans in the region."

Beilke, a 1950 Alexandria High School graduate, made his mark in history for both a last and a first.

On March 29, 1973, he was the last official U.S. combat soldier to leave Vietnam.

Twenty-eight years later, on September 11, 2001, he was among the first to be killed when hijackers rammed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

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The plane crashed into a window in the office where he had just attended a meeting to advocate for military retirees and veterans.

The tragic end to Beilke's life terminated a decorated and dedicated career of service to the U.S. Army and to his fellow veterans. He served 22 years active duty in the U.S. Army in Germany, Korea and Vietnam.

After his retirement he served as deputy chief of the Army's Retirement Services, and was an active member of the Army Chief of Staff Retiree Council.

Beilke was awarded the Defense of Freedom medal and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He was buried December 11, 2001 at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

The Alexandria VA outpatient clinic is expected to open this September at 610 22nd Avenue East, southeast of Nyberg Surveying.

The 9,915-square-foot clinic will be staffed with more than 16 VA staff members. Professional staff will include physicians, an advanced practice nurse, a pharmacist, a psychologist, a social worker, a registered dietitian and several registered nurses.

It is expected to serve more than 3,500 veterans from Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens, Todd and Wadena counties.

Related Topics: VETERANS
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