Joe Medicine Crow shows a drum to then-President Barack Obama and then-First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in August 2009. Photo by Pete Souza / White House
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Senate approves bill to designate clinic in honor of late veteran Joe Medicine Crow

A bill to designate a clinic in Montana in honor of the late Joe Medicine Crow, a celebrated veteran from the Crow Tribe, is moving forward in the 115th Congress.

The Senate passed S.1282 by unanimous consent last Wednesday. Supporters said the bill recognizes the achievements of Medicine Crow, whose actions during World War II earned him a designation as a war chief among his people.

"While fighting against the German forces he led a war party, stole an enemy horse, disarmed an enemy and touched an enemy without killing him," Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) said in a press release.

Prior to his military service, Medicine Crow had become the first citizen of his tribe to obtain a master's degree. He was working towards his Ph.D. before the war and eventually received honorary doctorates from three institutions. Up until his passing in April 2016 at the age of 102, he served as a cultural ambassador for the Crow people.

"Historian, educator, and patriot -- a good man, a bacheitche in Crow -- Dr. Medicine Crow's life reflects not only the warrior spirit of the Crow people, but America's highest ideals," then-president Barack Obama said in bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, upon the late veteran in August 2009.

S.1282, if it becomes law, designates the VA clinic on Spring Creek Lane in Billings, Montana, as the Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic. The bill also recognizes the veterans' Crow name, which was Dakaak Baako.

S.1282 awaits consideration in the House.

Related Stories:
Adrian Jawort: Recollections of a great warrior Joe Medicine Crow (April 7, 2016)
Joe Medicine Crow helps break ground on new Montana school (March 19, 2015)
Native Sun News: Joe Medicine Crow marks 100th birthday (November 11, 2013)