The VA Medical Center in Long Beach renamed for Korean War hero Tibor Rubin


The VA Medical Center in Long Beach has been renamed. The facility now bears the name of Korean War hero, Tibor Rubin. 

Rubin was a Holocaust survivor who joined the US Army after American soldiers rescued him in Austria. The Medical Center Director, Walt Dannenberg, says Rubin's honors did not come until decades later. 

Rubin received the Medal of Freedom and two Purple Hearts for his service. 

He is credited with standing alone for 24 hours to hold off attacking forces while the regiment withdrew successfully. 

At the 2005 Medal of Honor Ceremony for Rubin, President George W. Bush elaborated on the event. 

“When Corporal Rubin’s battalion found itself ambushed by thousands of Chinese troops, the Americans’ firepower soon dwindled to a single machine gun. The weapon was in an exposed position and three soldiers had already died manning it. That was when Corporal Rubin stepped forward. He fought until his ammunition was gone. He was badly wounded, captured and sent to a P.O.W. camp.”

While a prisoner Rubin would risk his life to sneak out of camp to gather food and medical supplies to bring back to his fellow soldiers. 

He spent 30 months as a prisoner of war in North Korea. 

According to his New York Times Obituary, his Medal of Honor was delayed delayed by decades due to anti-Jewish sentiment among some he served with. 

President George W. Bush ordered a review of the records of the Jewish veterans who were seen as having been denied medals that they probably deserved. 

Rubin was 76 when he finally received his award. 

After the war Rubin settled in Orange County and Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, introduced legislation to rename the Long Beach VA medical center and it was signed into law by President Barack Obama in December.

Rubin died at age 86 on December 5, 2015. 


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