WASHINGTON, D.C. (KYMA, KECY) - The American Legion presented Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. with the Distinguished Public Service Award.
The award ceremony took place on Tuesday during the 60th Annual National Commander's Call in Washington, D.C.
Ruiz, per a press release, received the award due to his leadership in passing the Honoring our PACT Act, helping Veterans, exposed to burn pits and other toxins, receive the health care and benefits "they earned, needed, and deserved."
“I am so honored to accept the American Legion’s National Commander’s Distinguished Public Service Award,” Ruiz said in his acceptance speech.
“Over the years, it has been a great pleasure to work with many of you in this room to secure the recognition, benefits, and care our nation’s veterans have earned, deserve, and need. The Honoring our PACT Act is now the law of the land because of you. This is a great victory that we share together because of the leadership and advocacy of the American Legion," Ruiz added.
Partnership and collaboration
Ruiz also received the award because of advocacy to protect non-citizen veterans and their families as well as help bring deported Veterans home.
The author of the Honoring our PACT Act, House Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Mark Takano also attended the ceremony. He and Ruiz worked together to get the Honoring our PACT act to President Joe Biden's desk as well as pass legislation to protect deported Veterans.
“After years of advocating for toxic-exposed veterans, Dr. Ruiz's Distinguished Public Service Award is well-deserved,” said Ranking Member Takano.
“Thanks to his partnership and collaboration with the Committee and with Legionnaires, we were able to develop a meaningful and comprehensive law that expanded care to over 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans. I congratulate Dr. Ruiz on this impressive honor and look forward to continuing our fight to continue helping all who served," Takano further spoke.
You can view the ceremony here.