Press Release

Gillibrand, Maloney Announce Signing Of Margaret Corbin Bill Into Law

Jan 15, 2021

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, incoming Chair of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, and U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, announced the signing of H.R. 1925 into law. The bill renames the Manhattan VA the “Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus of the New York Harbor Health Care System.” 

The bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and in the House by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). 

“I am proud to bring this win home for New York, and for women veterans like Corbin, who fought in the revolutionary war,” 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 gesture to making sure that all who serve get the highest quality care possible once they come home. This would never have gotten done without Congresswoman Maloney and I thank her for her tireless work.”

“I am thrilled that New York City will be home to the first VA hospital named for a woman veteran,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Although women have fought for our nation since its founding, women service members rarely receive the same recognition as their male counterparts. Margaret Corbin’s legacy of service endures in the tradition of empowering all veterans, regardless of gender. I’m proud to have partnered with Senator Gillibrand to bring this win home to New York.”

 “We are so proud to have advocated for this VA campus designation honoring Margaret Cochran Corbin, highlighting her service and sacrifice back in 1776, and echoing the service of so many other women who have served throughout our nation’s history. NYC Veterans Alliance will continue to advocate for all veterans to see their own service reflected in the institutions that serve us. We thank Senator Gillibrand, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and all of the bill’s co-sponsors for their leadership in prioritizing representation of women veterans here at our VA hospital in Manhattan,” said James Fitzgerald, Deputy Director, NYC Veterans Alliance. 

“IAVA applauds the leadership of Senator Gillibrand and Rep. Maloney in bringing overdue recognition to this trailblazing local New York Revolutionary War veteran,” said IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler.  “Their legislation rightly underscores women’s service on the front lines, fighting America’s wars since before our independence.”  

“Women veterans’ needs and contributions have historically, and for 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 VA’s male-dominated atmosphere and create a more supportive space for women. Renaming the Manhattan VA after Margaret Corbin is not only a huge milestone, but important validation to the many women veterans who have served our country that their service and contributions mattered. We applaud all those involved for making this tremendous step forward possible. NYLAG 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 have always borne the battle, even if not recognized for their valiant efforts, so it is encouraging to finally see VA medical centers being named for them. The people we choose to honor speaks to who we are as a community and a country. Veteran Advocacy Project celebrates the Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus in New York and all of the women who have served and sacrificed for our democracy.” said Coco Culhane, Executive Director, Veteran Advocacy Project

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.