Palm Desert VA Clinic Renamed for Local WWII Veteran, Sy Kaplan

Carmela Karcher

A local veteran etched in memory.

“I rise today to celebrate the house passage of my bipartisan bill to designate the Palm Desert VA Clinic and memory of Seymour ‘Sy’ Kaplan,” California’s 36th District Representative Dr. Raul Ruiz said on the House floor. “Sy was a decorated World War II veteran with a relentless passion for service.”

Tuesday afternoon, President Joe Biden signed Representative Raul Ruiz’s bill into law to rename our local Veterans Affairs Clinic in Palm Desert.

All in memory of one Coachella Valley hero, Sy Kaplan.

“He enlisted in the US Army at just 17 years old and served our country bravely in the 2nd Armored Divisions for his heroism here with three Battle Scars and two Purple Hearts,” Dr. Ruiz continued.

When his decorated military service ended, as Dr. Ruiz said, his service to our desert veterans began.

“His leadership helped countless veterans find healing, community and a sense of purpose,” Dr. Ruiz shared. “He also served as a member of my Veterans Advisory Board where I look to him as a trusted advisor.”

For the next 25 years, Kaplan helped change the lives of many after serving as a commander in the Coachella Valley’s Disabled American Veterans Chapter 78.

Even now, his service continues.

“We lost Sy three years ago at the age of 95,” Dr. Ruiz said. “I can think of no better way to honor his legacy than to ensure his name is forever etched into our desert history at a place where our veterans receive quality care at the Palm Desert VA Clinic, at the clinic he championed to create.”

Make sure to tune in on Thursday where we’ll hear from Dr. Ruiz and the new chapter’s commander about the life and legacy of Sy Kaplan.

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