Lexington VA hospitals renamed after two Kentucky Iwo Jima veterans

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Tonight both Veterans Affairs health care campuses in Lexington will boast new names. This morning, a renaming ceremony was held in honor of two Kentucky veterans.

Pfc. Franklin Sousley of Fleming County and Pvt. Troy Bowling of Lexington both served in World War II, and today the campuses were renamed in their memory.

Roy Bowling says his brother Troy spent his life serving others, even after he was wounded in battle.

“He didn't think he was going to make it, and he looked up to the heavens and said, ‘If you let me out of here, I will volunteer the rest of my life to serve mankind,’" Roy Bowling said.

Troy Bowling put in over 78,000 hours of volunteer service at the Lexington VA Medical Center. He passed away last summer.

Honoree Franklin Sousley was one of the men pictured raising the American Flag over the island of Iwo Jima. Less than a month later, he was killed at just 19-years-old.

"It's an honor for us to be here today, and just something Franklin I am sure would be very proud of,” family member Rob Pedigo said. “You know the statue in Washington is special to all of us, but for him to be recognized like this in his home state, like I said, is spectacular."

In February 2018, Congressman Andy Barr introduced a bill renaming Lexington’s two VA campuses. It was signed into law and will officially go into effect this week.

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