Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, and U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney, Nydia Velázquez, Jerrold Nadler, and Adriano Espaillat today announced new legislation to rename the Manhattan Campus of the VA New York Harbor Health Care System after Revolutionary War hero Margaret Corbin. Margaret Corbin fought alongside the Revolutionary Army and was the first woman to be recognized for her military service by the United States. With this bill, the facility would be renamed to the “Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus of the New York Harbor Health Care System.”
“I’m proud to introduce new legislation to rename the Manhattan VA Medical Center after Margaret Corbin, a Revolutionary War hero who fought for our nation’s independence and paved the way for countless other women to serve and protect our country,” said Senator Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “Women have fought for our nation since its founding, yet women service members rarely receive the same recognition as their male counterparts. Renaming the Manhattan VA after Margaret Corbin is a small but significant step towards valuing the sacrifices and service that women have made for our country.”
“Margaret Corbin went above and beyond in her service to our country as she fearlessly joined in the Battle of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island, firing a cannon, sustaining serious injuries and becoming a prisoner of war,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Mrs. Corbin’s heroic and revolutionary acts, serving our country as the first female in a soldier’s role, deserve to be recognized and that’s why I am proud to support legislation that renames the Manhattan VA in honor of this brave, selfless and revolutionary war heroine.”
“I am thrilled to be introducing legislation in the House of Representatives to rename the Manhattan VA hospital in honor of the great American Revolutionary War heroine Margaret Corbin,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). “The first woman recognized for her actions fighting for our country and the first to receive a veteran’s pension, Margaret embodies the heroism of American soldiers who are wounded in battle, as well as their struggles, often lifelong, resulting from their injuries and their time on the battlefield. It is more than fitting to give Margaret Corbin the honor of being the first woman to have a VA hospital named for her.”
“Since our country’s founding, women have played an instrumental role in our nation’s armed services, yet often without the recognition they deserve. Not only did Margaret Corbin make history as the first woman recognized for fighting in our nation’s military, she, like so many other female servicemembers, put her life on the line while defending her country,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “I am proud to honor Corbin’s legacy by supporting legislation spearheaded by Congresswoman Maloney and Senator Gillibrand to rename the Manhattan Campus of the VA New York Harbor Health Care System after Margaret Corbin. Today, women make up the fastest growing group of veterans and we must recognize the unique challenges they face and the sacrifices they make in defense of all our liberties.”
“Since the founding of our nation, women have been central to our armed forces,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). “I am proud to support the renaming of the Manhattan VA for Margaret Corbin, whose legacy of service endures in the tradition of empowering all veterans, regardless of gender, to be welcome and honored at the VA.”
“The heroism of Margaret Corbin and her legacy in our nation’s history deserves to be memorialized and venerated,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY). “She was a pioneer in our nation’s military and I am glad to join my New York colleagues to rename the Manhattan VA as the ‘Margaret Corbin VA Medical Center’ as a testament to her unwavering bravery and inimitable belief that we all have a duty to stand up for our freedoms.”
Margaret Corbin was born in Pennsylvania on November 12, 1751. She accompanied her husband when he joined the Revolutionary Army and supported the Army’s efforts by caring for injured and sick soldiers, cooking, cleaning, and helping her husband load his cannon. On November 16, 1776, Corbin took her husband’s place at the battle of Fort Washington in Manhattan after he was fatally wounded, where she was then shot by enemy fire and severely wounded. In recognition of her service and injuries, Corbin was awarded a lifelong pension, making her the first woman to receive a pension from the United States through military service. Corbin passed away in 1789 in Highland Falls, New York, and she is honored nearby at West Point as a hero of the Revolutionary War.