Stabenow, Peters Applaud Senate Passage of Legislation to Honor Michigan Veteran

Bill Would Name Traverse City VA Clinic for Medal of Honor Recipient and Traverse City Area Native Colonel Demas T. Craw

Friday, December 02, 2016

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today applauded unanimous Senate passage of legislation they introduced to name the Traverse City Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) after Army Colonel Demas T. Craw, a Traverse City-area native and Medal of Honor recipient. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives, where Congressman Benishek has introduced similar legislation.

“Naming this clinic after one of Traverse City's own heroes is a fitting tribute to Colonel Craw and to the thousands of local veterans who will receive care at this facility,” said Senator Stabenow. “It represents the commitment and fulfillment of promises we have made to our veterans.”

“Colonel Demas Craw laid his life on the line and made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country,” said Senator Peters, a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “Naming this clinic in his honor will ensure Colonel Craw’s legacy of patriotism and selflessness endures for years to come.”

A Traverse City based VA health clinic is scheduled to be built and completed in 2017, replacing the current undersized facility.  The new clinic will provide additional health care services for thousands of Northern Michigan veterans from Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau and Manistee counties.

Colonel Craw was born in 1900 near Traverse City in Long Lake Township, and attended Traverse City Central High School before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1918. Craw served in both World Wars, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, and rose to the rank of Colonel. During World War II, Craw served in the U.S. Army Air Service as a military attaché to Greece where he reportedly came under fire 136 times and participated in 21 Royal Air Force bombing sorties. He received numerous commendations for his career of service, including the WWI and WWII Victory Medals, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the Purple Heart. Craw was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after he was killed in action near Port Lyautey, French-Morocco in November 1942 while attempting to broker a cease-fire.

A broad coalition of veterans groups support naming the Traverse City VA Clinic after Colonel Craw, including the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Coalition, VFW Cherryland Post #2780 and Auxiliary, Fife Lake American Legion Post #219, Michigan American Legion Post #35, the  Northwestern Michigan Chapter of Military Officers Association of America, American Military League Post #1, and Northwestern Michigan College.