Vets remember political icon Louis Stokes - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Vets remember political icon Louis Stokes

U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Cleveland. (Source: WOIO) U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Cleveland. (Source: WOIO)

The Louis Stokes VA Medical Center serves over 100,000 veterans a year and is just one of several landmarks bearing his name that stand as a testament to his legacy. 

"A great loss, that's all I can say a great loss," said Lee Benson.

Cleveland is suffering a great loss after the death of retired Congressman Louis Stokes.

Born in Cleveland, Stokes served for three years in World War II before becoming a Congressman where he served 15 terms.

Learning the news Wednesday morning fellow veterans reflected on his iconic contribution. 

"This is why this hospital was named after him because of his participation, because of what he did for the city, and because of the man that he is," said one veteran. 

William Craft, who is also a veteran, grew up in the same neighborhood as Stokes, and says he was a visible presence in the community. 

"Everybody knew him he used to come to the pool rooms and things like that. He was a great man he talked to everybody and never acted like he was better than anybody," William Craft said.

Stokes announced that he was battling brain and lung cancer in July, news that sent shock waves through the community.

Now those grieving his death are comforted by his lasting legacy, one that will continue to make an impact for generations to come. 

"We've lost a great man, a great leader, thank you Louis Stokes for everything you did for us," said another veteran.

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