LEXINGTON, Ky.(WTVQ) – Lexington VA Hospital is hosting a renaming ceremony this morning at 9:30 a.m. at their Leestown location honoring Kentucky veterans Franklin R. Sousley and Troy Bowling.
The event features special guest U.S. Representative Andy Barr.
Sousley fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. He along-side five other fellow service members raised a large U.S. flag so it could be seen over the island of Mount Suribachi. An iconic photo was taken while raising the U.S. flag that led to an immortalized symbol of the American bravery, perseverance, and sacrifice endured by members of the U.S. Armed Forces during the intense battles of World War II. Sousley was killed in combat by a Japanese sniper on March 21, 1945.
Bowling served in the U.S. Marines during a campaign against Japan during World War II. His unit was among the first to land on Iwo Jima, a Pacific island that more than 6,800 United States service members gave their lives to secure. He devoted more than 78,000 volunteer service hours at Lexington VA Medical Center over more than 66 years. Bowling passed away in 2017.
U.S. Representative Andy Barr’s introduction and passage of H.R. 4533 renamed the Leestown Division in Sousley’s honor and the Cooper Division in Bowling’s honor.
This also changed the name of the medical center to the Lexington VA Health Care System.
ABC 36 Evening Anchor Tom Kenny is emceeing the event.