Rename Medical Center After War Hero Margaret Corbin, Pols Say

KIPS BAY, NY — Lawmakers want to rename the VA New York Harbor Health Care System’s Kips Bay location after the first woman recognized for her military service by the U.S., New York politicians announced Wednesday.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and other lawmakers re-introduced legislation to rename the health center after Revolutionary War hero Margaret Corbin, Gillibrand’s office announced Wednesday.

The bill proposes to rename the center, located at 423 East 23rd St., to the “Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus of the New York Harbor Health Care System,” Gillibrand’s office said.

Margaret Corbin “was a heroic leader who became the first woman to be officially recognized by our country for her military service,” said Gillibrand, who is running in the 2020 presidential election.

Corbin accompanied her husband in the Revolutionary Army helping to care for sick soldiers, cooking, and helping her husband load his cannon.

But in November 1776, Corbin took her husband’s place in the battle of Fort Washington in Manhattan after he was fatally wounded. During the battle, she was also shot in an injury that left her unable to use her left arm for the remainder of her life.

Corbin was the first woman to receive a pension from the U.S. for her military service.

She died in 1789 in Highland Falls, New York and is honored at West Point.

“Although women have fought for our nation since its founding, women service members rarely receive the same recognition as their male counterparts,” Gillibrand said. “Renaming the Manhattan VA Medical Center after Margaret Corbin is a small but significant step towards honoring the sacrifices women have made for our country.”

Gillibrand and Sen. Chuck Schumer along with New York Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Nydia Velásquez, Jerrold Nadler, and Adriano Espaillat introduced the bill in Congress.

Maloney, who represents Manhattan’s east side and parts of Brooklyn and Queens, said Corbin “embodies the heroism of American soldiers who are wounded in battle, as well as their struggles, often lifelong, resulting from their injuries and their time on the battlefield.”

“It is more than fitting to give Margaret Corbin the honor of being the first woman to have a VA hospital named for her,” Maloney said in a statement.

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