WASHINGTON — The independent commission tasked with coming up with new names for military bases named after Confederate leaders from the Civil War has released its recommendations.
The three bases in Virginia are Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County, Fort Lee in Prince George County and Fort Pickett in Nottoway County.
Democratic Rep. Don McEachin (VA-04) led the push in Congress for the name changes, saying they are long overdue.
"To be able to serve on a base named after somebody who looks like you, who worked on the same things you work on, and who has the same loyalties as you, that is, to the United States of America, I think is significant," he said.
The commission recommended that Fort A.P. Hill be renamed Fort Walker after Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a New York feminist and abolitionist who became the first female surgeon in U.S. Army history during the Civil War and the only woman ever to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Fort Lee would become Fort Gregg-Adams, named for Lt. Gen. Arthur J. Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams.
Adams commanded the first unit of African-American women to serve overseas. Gregg was a logistics officer, who served in Japan, Vietnam and Germany throughout the Cold War, rising to logistics director for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Fort Pickett would be renamed for Tech. Sgt. Van T. Barfoot, a World War II combat veteran who won the Medal of Honor for heroism.
"You know, it's a win for the district. It's a win for me personally," said McEachin.
The commission's final report is due to be delivered to Congress on October 1.