Rudy Yakym tours the Jackie Walorski VA Clinic

Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:20 PM EST
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Michiana’s newest congressman came back home to visit one of the lasting legacies of his predecessor.

Rep. Rudy Yakym (IN-2) took a tour of the Jackie Walorski VA Clinic in Mishawaka and spoke to veterans who rely on this resource.

Yakym said he is well aware of the impact Jackie had on veterans, and now that he’s filling her shoes, he’s reassuring those at the clinic that they’ll still be a priority now that it’s his time to serve.

“One of the things I’ve heard from veterans is the close partnership that they had with Jackie and her office. That is a legacy we seek to continue,” Yakym said.

The clinic dawning his predecessor’s name will continue to be a priority for Yakym as he makes his first rounds as the new congressman for Indiana’s second district.

“I’ve often said you can’t represent people you don’t know and you have to know the people you represent. For me, when the house is not in session, I’m here getting to now Hoosiers, hearing what’s on their minds, and their concerns,” he said.

The Hoosiers he met Friday, were ones that served. Yakim says his personal connection to the military comes through family members in the armed forces, and now these veterans have a personal connection with their congressman.

“There were a number of people here who had a personal connection with Jackie. I met someone who gave Jackie a job—hired Jackie maybe 20 years ago or so. I met with a number of other veterans who worked closely with Jackie today. They shared just how grateful they were able to have the opportunity to work with her, to know that she was someone fighting for them. I was able to share that the fighting spirit for veterans is something I certainly seek to continue forward,” Yakim said.

After seeing everything the clinic has to offer its patients, Yakym says one of his biggest goals is to make sure these resources go to good use.

“Well I talked extensively today with the VA leadership about how we can be a partner to them, some of the things that Jackie did that we need to make sure we continue to do in Washington, partnering to bring resources to our local VA, as well as making sure veterans are aware of the whole suite of services that’s offered here at the VA,” he said.

Picking up where Jackie left off, while also laying the groundwork for his first term in office.

This also marks the end of his first “On the Road With Rudy” tour. This was his last stop after a week of visiting different parts of district two in an effort to better connect with those he represents.

Stay with 16 News Now to find out when the clinic will hold the official ceremony renaming the facility the Jackie Walorski VA clinic. It will be sometime this spring.