KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two U.S. Senators have introduced a bill to honor a Kansas veteran.
Kansas’ U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall proposed legislation that would name the new VA outpatient clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, after Capt. Elwin “Al” Shopteese.
If approved, the clinic would formally be called the “Captain Elwin Shopteese Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic” or the “Captain Elwin Shopteese VA Clinic.”
“I am pleased to introduce this legislation with Sen. Marshall that honors a Kansas servicemember who dedicated his life to his country and community,” said Moran, the ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“In recognition of Capt. Shopteese’s service for our country and his service to the Native American community upon his return home, this legislation will help honor his legacy and preserve his story for generations to come.”
Shopteese, who was born in Mayetta, Kansas, was a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the Kansas National Guard.
As part of the Company E, 137th Infantry Regiment, he fought in several battles in Europe during World War II, including the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.
Shopteese received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service during WWII.
After the war, he returned home to Kansas and attended Haskell University — before he again served in the Korean War.
The senators said after his military service, Shopteese began another life of service, this time for his fellow Native Americans.
He worked as a tribal council member and helped create the Indian Community Alcoholism Resources Expeditors Recovery Home. Shopteese served as its executive director until he died in 1992.
“Capt. Shopteese lived a life of unwavering service to Kansas and America,” Marshall said. “He exemplified bravery and patriotism to our great nation while fighting during the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.
“I am proud to work with Sen. Moran to ensure his legacy lives on for generations to come and honor his heroism by naming the Kansas City outpatient clinic after him.”