Press Release

Gillibrand, Maloney Announce Renaming Of Manhattan Va To Honor Margaret Corbin; Manhattan Va Is First In The Country To Be Named After A Woman Veteran

Jun 18, 2021

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, chair of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer announced the historic renaming of the Manhattan VA Medical Center to the “Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus of the New York Harbor Health Care System.” The Manhattan VA is the first in the nation to be named after a woman veteran. Earlier this year, the lawmakers announced the signing of H.R. 1925 into law, which would permit the name change. 

“Countless generations of women who have fought heroically for this country are too often overlooked or ignored in our nation’s history,” said Senator Gillibrand. “While we must continue working to ensure women vets get the same care and benefits their male counterparts receive, this VA renaming is an important acknowledgment of all the sacrifices women have made to keep our nation safe. Now, we keep fighting to make sure that all who serve, regardless of gender, get the highest quality care possible once they come back home. The Margaret Corbin VA Center would’ve never found its home in New York without Congresswoman Maloney and I thank her for her tireless work.”

“Margaret Corbin was a patriot and a hero of the American Revolution.  She was injured fighting for our nation’s independence right here in Manhattan. For far too long the contributions of women in uniform have been overlooked. Renaming the VA hospital is an important step towards righting that wrong. Thanks to Senator Gillibrand’s partnership, we were able to bring this win home to New York.” –Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney 

“Congratulations must go to Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. Maloney for their persistence in getting the Manhattan VA complex renamed for Margaret Cochran Corbin, who played a crucial role in the Continental Army defending Manhattan during the Revolutionary War,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. 

“Through the leadership of Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Maloney New York City will be home to the first VA hospital named after a woman veteran. I’m proud to see Margaret Corbin recognized in my district. This is a moment where we recognize the contributions women have made and continue to make in our nation.” – Assembly Member Harvey Epstein 

“The renaming of the Manhattan VA Hospital in honor of Margaret Cochran Corbin – a American Revolutionary War veteran, who answered the call to serve, and was injured during her heroic acts of bravery – is a reminder that women have a long history of dedicated service in our country. Thank you to Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Maloney for emboldening New York City with a forever reminder of her service. and creating the first VA hospital named for a woman veteran.” – Council Member Keith Powers. 

“Women have played an essential role in our nation’s defense going back to the Revolutionary War. These patriots fought for our freedoms even while facing harassment and a deck that was stacked against them. It’s fitting that the first VA hospital named after a female should honor Margaret “Captain Molly” Corbin, a groundbreaker and icon of American history. This change represents an important step in recognizing the importance of female Veterans, the fastest growing demographic within the Veteran community, and their contributions to our nation’s security,” said James Hendon, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services. 

“We are so proud to have worked with Sen. Gillibrand, Rep. Maloney, and all those who so enthusiastically co-sponsored and supported this historic legislation to honor the service and legacy of Margaret Corbin. Women have fought for our nation since 1776, and we are proud that the name of our VA Medical Center here in Manhattan will now bear the name of this hero, as well as reflect the long legacy of women’s military service here in New York. Women, too, have borne the battle throughout our nation’s history,” said Kristen L. Rouse, U.S. Army Veteran, President, NYC Veterans Alliance

“For too long, the women who served in our nation’s military have been overlooked for their heroic deeds. Margaret Corbin, whose courage and talent was on full display in the Battle of Fort Washington, is one of those valiant women whose story has not been told often enough. Renaming the Manhattan VA campus in her honor will ensure that future generations of New Yorkers will be inspired by Margaret Corbin’s bravery in the face of tremendous danger. We applaud the New York City Veterans Alliance, Senator Gillibrand, Congresswoman Maloney, and all of the advocates who made this possible,” said Joel Evans, Executive Deputy Director (and Acting Director) of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services

“For years, women veterans have felt that they do not belong when walking into a VA facility due to the stigma often associated with their service,” stated IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “IAVA applauds the decision to rename the Manhattan VA for Margaret Cochran Corbin, a New Yorker and one of the first women veterans who chose to take her husband’s place on the battlefield during the Revolutionary War after he was severely wounded. This change is a groundbreaking step to help women veterans feel more represented within the veteran community.” 

“Renaming the Manhattan VA after Margaret Corbin signals the VA’s commitment to recognizing the importance and contributions of women veterans. Women veterans’ needs and achievements have historically, and for far too long, been underrepresented in the VA. In 2017, the New York Legal Assistance Group opened the nation’s first legal clinics to serve exclusively women veterans at the Manhattan VA Medical Center. In doing so, NYLAG hoped to help shift the male-dominated atmosphere and create a more welcoming space for women veterans to seek legal assistance. We applaud all those involved in making the Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus of the New York Harbor Health Care System a reality, and we will continue to advocate on behalf of our women veteran clients in their fight for greater justice and recognition,” said Beth Goldman, Executive Director, New York Legal Assistance Group 

“Women veterans have fought alongside their male counterparts for centuries, too often overlooked and unrecognized for their sacrifice. We are pleased to see VA acknowledge and honor these individuals by dedicating the Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus of the New York Harbor Health Care System, which bears the namesake of the first woman to receive a pension from the United States through her military service during the Revolutionary War. We thank Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and all of the bills co-sponsors for their dedication to ensuring women veterans receive the representation they deserve for their long, rich history of service to the nation,” said DAV Department of New York Commander Michael A. Martin

“The 200,000 members of The American Legion Family across New York State are excited that the name of Revolutionary War hero Margaret Corbin will be forever associated with the care of veterans at the Manhattan VA Campus. She cared for wounded and sick soldiers before taking up the fight herself when her husband was mortally wounded. We salute Margaret and all women veterans,” said Michael McDermott, commander of The American Legion Department of New York

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.