The legacy of a man known for helping those who served in the military will be preserved in the naming of a cancer center.
The late Congressman, U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, a Democrat from Johnstown, had a reputation of working with those in the military and finding ways to protect servicemen in times of war. Many defense contractors are working in this region thanks to the proactive efforts Murtha did to stimulate the economy with work that lead to safer conditions for military personnel.
On Monday the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. officially dedicated the John P. Murtha Cancer Center in his honor.
"As this went forward certain levels wanted to really give homage to one individual who really, over 20 years, made this possible," Col. Craig Shriver, cancer center director, said. "Over the years congressman John Murtha has been very supportive and proactive in addressing the issue of cancer care, screening and prevention."
The center will be located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which is the result of a merger between the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center at the National Naval Medical Center location. It is the only approved Department of Defense Center of Excellence for Cancer Care.
Locally, Murtha, who died in 2010, was instrumental in the development and funding of the Windber Research Institute, Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center and the John P. Murtha Regional Cancer Center in Johnstown.
The work the Murtha family has done in this region as well as around the country deserves to be remembered. The naming of this facility in his honor is a fitting tribute to a well-respected leader.