NGAUS Washington Report
(Oct. 22, 2013) Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., a longstanding champion of the National Guard and Guardsmen, died Friday at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland. He was 82.
Young, who was first elected to the House in 1970, had been hospitalized for the past two weeks as he recovered from a back injury.
He was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee. Over the years, he was instrumental in getting funds in excess of the president's budget for National Guard equipment and military construction.
Long before his election to Congress, Young spent nine years in the Florida Guard.
NGAUS recognized Young's lifetime of contributions to the Guard by selecting him as the 2013 recipient of 2013 Harry S. Truman Award, the association's highest honor.
Numerous statements from lawmakers and other officials from Washington, D.C., to Florida have praised Young and distinguished service to the country.
Typical were the words of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who said Young “will be remembered as a passionate advocate for the welfare of America’s service members and military veterans. Though his loss will be felt by many, his legacy and commitment to a strong national defense will always inspire us.”
A public visitation is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center in Pinellas Park, Fla.