House Passes Rep. Ruiz’s Legislation to Honor Local Heroes, Cpl. Hunter Lopez & Former Agua Caliente Chairman Richard Milanovich

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two local heroes — U.S. Marines Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez and former Agua Caliente Chairman Richard Milanovich — are honored in legislation the U.S. House of Representatives has passed.

Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) two pieces of legislation to honor the local heroes. H.R. 7988 would designate the La Quinta Post Office the “Corporal Hunter Lopez Memorial Post Office Building” and H.R. 9074 would designate the Palm Springs Post Office on North Sunrise Way the “Chairman Richard Milanovich Post Office.”

Both bills passed the House on Monday, Dec. 12 with strong bipartisan support. Following the House passage of legislation, Dr. Ruiz took to the House floor to celebrate the House passage of the bills and to encourage the Senate to act.

Cpl. Lopez was one of 13 servicemembers lost in an attack on the Kabul airport while aiding the evacuation of thousands of Americans and allies. Cpl. Lopez saved the lives of two children moments before his death, contributed to the largest airlift in history, and aided the evacuation of 120,000 individuals from Afghanistan. He was born in Indio, Calif., and attended La Quinta High School.

“Corporal Lopez was the embodiment of service. With the Marine Corps, he aided the largest airlift in human history, evacuating over 120,000 of our fellow Americans and allies,” said Dr. Ruiz. “Corporal Lopez worked up until his last moment to save others. Now his story is forever entwined with our nation’s, and it is my hope that with this legislation, future generations will come to know his legacy of remarkable service, compassion, and heroism.”

“Hunter had a dream to serve in the Marines. He wore his uniform with pride, and his service has impacted countless lives, leaving a lasting mark on our community. We would be honored to see the La Quinta Post Office renamed in his honor so that his legacy can continue to inspire,” said Herman and Alicia Lopez.

“[Chairman Milanovich’s] impact spread far and wide, and he is still revered as a change maker for Tribes throughout California and the entire nation,” said Dr. Ruiz. “We celebrate Chairman Milanovich’s memory and legacy by naming the Palm Spring Post Office in his honor.”

“This is an incredible honor for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to have a post office named after the late Tribal Chairman Richard M. Milanovich, who served as chairman for more than 28 years,” said Tribal Chairman Reid D. Milanovich, of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. “This pays tribute to an important leader who made a difference not for just our tribe, but for tribes throughout the country during his three decades of service. This is truly a great way to commemorate his legacy.”

Chairman Richard Milanovich served as Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians for nearly 30 years. Chairman Milanovich grew up in Palm Springs and served as an infantryman in the United States Army from 1960-1963. He later returned to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation and was elected Chairman of the Band in 1984. Under Chairman Milanovich’s leadership, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians thrived, becoming the most prosperous Tribe United States and making major contributions to the economy of the Palm Springs area.

Dr. Ruiz’s floor speeches are available for download here.  



Image Sources

  • Hunter Lopez: RSO Facebook