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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Ruiz: 'I can think of no better way to honor [Sy Kaplan's] legacy'

President Joe Biden signed House of Representatives Bill 7925 (H.R. 7925) into law on Tuesday, designating the Palm Desert Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic as the Sy Kaplan VA Clinic.

A statement published by the White House thanked Democratic U.S. Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, and the California delegation for their leadership.

According to Ruiz's website, H.R. 7925 previously passed through the U.S. House in November. Ruiz authored and sponsored the bill to honor Seymour "Sy" Kaplan, a decorated WWII veteran who served as the commander of the Disabled Veterans Chapter 78 in Coachella Valley, working with the group for over 20 years. He also has been credited with introducing a VA clinic to Palm Desert before passing away in 2019.

“A decorated World War II veteran with a relentless passion for service, Sy’s leadership helped countless local veterans find healing, community and a sense of purpose,” Ruiz said in a press release published on November 15. “I can think of no better way to honor his legacy than to ensure his name is forever etched into our Desert’s history at a place where our veterans receive quality care.”

“Mr. Kaplan, a force to be reckoned with, was the catalyst in the establishment of the clinic. His tireless commitment to all veterans was inspiring,” Nancy Casey Jr., vice commander of the Department of California Disabled American Veterans, said. “A highly decorated war hero, Mr. Kaplan spent a lifetime giving to the veteran community, not only in the desert community but the State of California.”

According to a Coachella Valley Times article published on Friday, the U.S. House also passed Ruiz-authored legislation that will rename two post offices in Coachella Valley. The La Quinta Post Office will be renamed the "Cpl. Hunter Lopez Memorial Post Office Building", while the Palm Springs Post Office on North Sunrise Way will be renamed the "Chairman Richard Milanovich Post Office".

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