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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) led the entire Florida congressional delegation in a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Veterans’ Affairs requesting that they advance his bill (S. 2159) to name the new Clay County Veterans Affairs Clinic, in Middleburg, FL, the “Andrew K. Baker Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic.” Representative Kat Cammack leads companion legislation (H.R. 1960) in the House of Representatives.
 
“Chief Baker served on the USS Carl Vinson and USS Coral Sea as a Ship's Serviceman,” the lawmakers wrote. “He is a graduate of Search and Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola and Fleet Replacement Aircrewman training at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where he earned his "Wings of Gold." Chief Baker then reported to HS-9, where he served on the USS Nimitz; and then at HS-3, where he was assigned as the Training and Operations Chief. His dedication to our nation reflects great honor on his family and our community. It is fitting that a VA clinic, an institution dedicated to supporting those who served, should be named after a faithful service member.”
 
The full text of the letter is below. 
 
Dear Chairmen Tester and Takano, Ranking Members Moran and Bost:
 
As Members of the Florida Delegation, we write in support of S. 2159 and H.R. 1960, legislation that would name the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Clay County, Florida after U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Andrew Kenneth Baker. Chief Baker served his country honorably for 17 years before tragically perishing while aboard Trident 615, an HH-60H “Sea Hawk” helicopter that crashed at sea on March 13, 1997.
 
Chief Baker served on the USS Carl Vinson and USS Coral Sea as a Ship's Serviceman. He is a graduate of Search and Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola and Fleet Replacement Aircrewman training at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where he earned his "Wings of Gold." Chief Baker then reported to HS-9, where he served on the USS Nimitz; and then at HS-3, where he was assigned as the Training and Operations Chief. His dedication to our nation reflects great honor on his family and our community. It is fitting that a VA clinic, an institution dedicated to supporting those who served, should be named after a faithful service member.
 
We respectfully request the Senate and House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs quickly consider this important legislation. Please see the attached letters of support from the Florida Chapters of Several Veteran Service Organizations.
  
Sincerely,