Congressman Tim Ryan Announces House Passage of Legislation to Name the Youngstown VA Clinic After Vietnam Veteran Carl Nunziato
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) announces the House of Representatives' passage today of HR 5023, which names the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Youngstown, Ohio the "Carl Nunziato VA Clinic.” Ryan’s legislation was cosponsored by the entire Ohio delegation and passed the House by unanimous consent. To become law, this bill must pass the Senate and be signed by the president.
Construction on the new Youngstown VA Outpatient Clinic is set to finish on October 26, 2020, and the VA will be delivering furniture for the space on January 30, 2021.
“Today is a red letter day in my book because, in the midst of all that is going on nationally, Congress can still put its differences aside to take time and recognize a true American hero: Mr. Carl Nunziato,” said Congressman Ryan. “The naming of this clinic is a small measure in comparison to what he has accomplished on behalf of our country's heroes and for those with disabilities. Carl never quits, never has quit, and I am humbled to have the privilege of representing an individual of his caliber in Congress.”
"When my name goes on that building, I want it to represent not me, but the entirety of Vietnam veterans, and all the returning veterans of WWII and Korea. Together we paved the way not just for veterans with disabilities, but for all Americans with disabilities,” said Carl Nunziato.
“Any time that we as Americans can take time to honor the sacrifice of those who have worn the uniform should be applauded, but this one is even more special. Carl taught us all so many lessons. His dogged determination to not accept the status quo for the disabled and for his fellow veterans is an example for all of us. This building will be a reflection of Carl’s tireless spirit,” said Herman Breuer, Director, Trumbull County Veteran Service Commission.
"It is very humbling to see a man of his caliber, who has done so much for his country and for his fellow veterans, to be honored like this. When his name goes on that building - that says never give up. And that's what Carl Nunziato is all about,” said Leo Connelly Jr, Commissioner at the Mahoning County Veteran Service.
Background on Carl Nunziato:
Carl Nunziato was born in Youngstown, OH in 1938, graduating from Rayen High School. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Clara, he attended college at Youngstown State University. Through the university's Reserve Officer Training Corps program, Carl earned a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War. On November 22nd, 1966, Carl lost both of his legs when an enemy mortar round impacted less than 3 feet away from him as he was running toward his unit's command center.
Carl returned home to Youngstown, enrolled in law school at Case Western Reserve, and with graduation began yet another battle: the fight for veterans, and all Americans, with disabilities. As an attorney utilizing a wheel chair in the 1970s, most of the courthouses he encountered lacked the accessibility he, and other Americans like him, needed to simply be able to get to his job. Carl saw the problem and seized the initiative, as he had always done with obstacles he encountered in life.
He created a committee to fight for veterans with disabilities and became a relentless advocate on behalf of all of those with the same conditions. He established a task force to improve veterans services in Youngstown at a time when the VA sent the city a single nurse once a week; the Mahoning Valley had 40,000 veterans. Carl's efforts came to fruition in 1991 when the VA established an outpatient clinic in Youngstown.