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Virginia Army base renamed in honor of Native American war hero

An Army base in Blackstone, Virginia, officially changed its name Friday from “Fort Pickett” to “Fort Burfoot” in honor of Col. Van Burfoot, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient.

Earlier this year, The The Pentagon initiated the process Renaming nine army bases and hundreds of other items, named after the Confederacy. It has delegated the decision to do so Naming Commissionwhich was created in 2021 for this purpose.

“Fort Pickett is the first of nine Army installations this year, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting Soldier to receive the first honor,” said Lt. Gen. John Jensen, director of the Army National Guard. Friday event. “Thanks to this historic designation in honor of one of America’s greatest heroes, members of the military and our nation will surely know the impact Colonel Barfoot had on our nation.”

Fort Barfoot Rebuilding Ceremony

The Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett has been officially renamed Fort Burfoot, Col. Van T. A recipient of the World War II Medal of Honor with extensive Virginia ties during a ceremony at Blackstone Army Airfield, March 24, 2023, in Burfoot’s honor. Blackstone, Virginia.

US National Guard/Mike Vrabel

The Naming Commission An independent panel created by Congress to review and rename military assets bearing the names of Confederate leaders.

According to the Virginia National Guard, Fort Burfoot is the only one of the nine National Guard installations to be renewed.

Burfoot’s children attended Friday’s ceremony, along with representatives from the Virginia-based Native American tribe and the Choctaw Nation — the tribe her maternal grandmother was a member of.

“Our family is proud of the man we called Dad, Grandpa and Great Granddad, the love he shared, the example he set and his life of service to others,” said Burfoot’s daughter Margaret Nichols.

On May 9, Fort Hood will become the next Army base to receive an official name, officials announced Friday. It will be renamed in honor of Texas-born Korean and Vietnam War hero General Richard Edward Cavazos.

“We are proud to rename Fort Hood to Fort Cavazos in recognition of an outstanding American hero, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars and the first Hispanic to reach the rank of four-star general in our military,” said Lt. Gen. Sean Barnabe in a statement.

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Tre’Von Howard


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