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Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus presented Congressman C.W. Bill Young and his wife Beverly with the Distinguished Public Service Award at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) Friday.

Mabus stated it was appropriate to recognize the couple in front of the “Unspoken Bond” statue dedicated to Hospital Corpsmen who served with the Marines in the Pacific during World War II. The statue is located in Building 10. During the SECNAV’s presentation he cited the many years and, “contributions that the Chairman and Beverly have made not only at this facility, but for the help and well-being of Sailors and Marines all over the world.”

The 82-year-old Congressman represents Florida’s 13th congressional district, and has served as a U.S. Representative since 1971. He is currently the longest-serving Republican member of Congress, and serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. His wife, Beverly Young, was acknowledged at the ceremony for her personal passion, along with “her attention, her persistence on behalf of our Sailors and Marines, and those who have been wounded in the line of duty,” said Mabus. “She knows everybody’s name. She knows their family…their stories, where they’re from,” he added.

Mabus presented Beverly Young with the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award for exceptional service. The award cited her selfless service to the nation’s Sailors and Marines, especially wounded warriors, to ensure they were provided with the resources necessary to heal and reintegrate into the military.

“This is a great hospital,” she said. “And everybody that’s been injured, everybody … if it wasn’t for them … I wouldn’t be standing here. Whatever I can do to help them survive what’s happened to them, I will do it,” she explained.

Congressman Young’s award cited his “long, selfless service to the nation’s Sailors and Marines, [ensuring] they were provided the resources necessary to defend America’s interest around the globe.” The Navy secretary noted Young’s tireless advocacy for the nation’s wounded warriors. Mabus said the congressman’s support exemplifies his commitment to the men and women in our armed forces.

“This is a real honor,” Young said, as he accepted his award. “The biggest honor is to be able to come to visit someone who has been hurt bad, recovered here and seeing them on the way out in good shape, in good health, and in fact, many times going back to the battle.”