WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – and Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.) today introduced legislation to name the VA outpatient clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, after Captain Elwin “Al” Shopteese. The legislation formally designates the clinic as the “Captain Elwin Shopteese Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic” or the “Captain Elwin Shopteese VA Clinic.”
Elwin Shopteese was born in Mayetta, Kansas, on July 16, 1921 and was a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Upon high school graduation, he immediately enlisted in the Kansas National Guard and became a member of Company E, 137th Infantry Regiment. Shopteese and his company were involved in several battles across Europe during World War II, including the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He received a battlefield commission for his leadership while in combat at Omaha Beach. Shopteese earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service during World War II and returned to Kansas to attend Haskell University in 1946 before his service in the Korean War.
After returning from the war, Shopteese began a life of service for his fellow Native Americans, specifically the Potawatomi. He served as a Tribal Council member and was directly involved in the creation of the Indian Community Alcoholism Resources Expeditors (I.C.A.R.E.) Recovery Home, where he served as executive director until the time of his passing on June 25, 1992.
“I am pleased to introduce this legislation with Sen. Marshall that honors a Kansas servicemember, who dedicated his life to his country and community,” said Sen. Moran, “In recognition of Captain Shopteese’s service for our country and his service to the Native American community upon his return home, this legislation will help honor his legacy and preserve his story for generations to come.”
“Captain Shopteese lived a life of unwavering service to Kansas and America,” said Sen. Marshall. “He exemplified bravery and patriotism to our great nation while fighting during the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. I am proud to work with Senator Moran to ensure his legacy lives on for generations to come and honor his heroism by naming the Kansas City outpatient clinic after him.”
The Kansas City VA outpatient clinic opened in July 2022 and is located at 9201 Parallel Pkwy, Kansas City, KS 66112.