|DEDICATION OF THE RYAN WINSLOW VETERANS CENTER|
BIRMINGHAM – The Clay Veterans Center has been rededicated as the Ryan Winslow Veterans Center in tribute to Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Winslow of Hoover, who gave his life performing military service in Iraq.
The following statement by Congressman Bachus commemorating the rededication of the center in honor of Lance Cpl. Winslow was printed in the Congressional Record and permanently entered into the proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives on December 20, 2012.
It is my privilege to announce to this House that the Clay Veterans Center in Center Point in the Sixth District of Alabama has been rededicated as the Ryan Winslow Veterans Center.
The renaming honors the patriotic service of Marine Lance Corporal Ryan George Winslow, who lost his life in Iraq defending our freedoms, and also recognizes his parents, George and Marynell Winslow, who instilled in their son high character and a desire to serve others.
Ryan Winslow, who attended Hoover High School and Jefferson State Community College and belonged to Shades Crest Baptist Church, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in January 2005. Deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Lance Corporal Winslow performed his duties with great dedication, distinction, and drive despite his young age. Tragically, Ryan suffered fatal injuries during combat operations in Al Anbar Province on April 15, 2006. He died at the age of 19. Ryan’s memory is held in high honor, respect, and love by his family, friends, and the many individuals that he touched during a too-short life.
Turning personal loss into a passionate resolve to help others, the Winslows have become great advocates for all soldiers and veterans in Alabama. Marynell Winslow played a lead role in founding Gold Star Families of Alabama to recognize service members who have given their lives in defense of our country and provide comfort to their families. Gold Star Families has recently undertaken a project to build a memorial at the American Village to Alabamians who have given their lives in service to our country since 9/11.
The Veterans Center in Center Point is a special place. Opened in December 2010 by Three Hots and a Cot, a truly inspiring nonprofit organization, the center offers safe shelter to homeless military veterans and helps with their transition back to an independent lifestyle. With a staff that includes formerly homeless veterans, the center goes beyond offering housing and meals and provides services such as life skills training, job searches, transportation to VA hospitals for medical appointments, and companionship and stability. It is a model example of the responsibility and duty that we have as a society to assist the veterans who have sacrificed for us.
The tremendous amount of good that has been done and that will be done in the Veterans Center will now serve as a lasting tribute and thank you to Ryan Winslow and his family, and indeed to every serviceman and servicewoman who has given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our great nation. The name of Ryan Winslow will be proudly born by this sanctuary of hope and recovery.
It is altogether fitting and proper that the U.S. House of Representatives take time to recognize and memorialize this most important occasion.