Skip to Content
Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Carter introduces bill to rename Hinesville VA Clinic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) today introduced a bill, with support from every member of the House of Representatives’ Georgia delegation, to rename the Hinesville Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in honor of Liberty County's own John Gibson, Dan Ninkey James, William Edward Sapp, and Frankie Lee Smiley who tragically laid down their lives in the Vietnam war.

Once passed, the bill will officially rename the Hinesville VA clinic as the “John Gibson, Dan James, William Sapp, and Frankie Smiley VA Clinic.”

“Four men, all under the age of 25, lost their lives in Vietnam in defense of our freedoms,” said Rep. Carter. “This bill will not only give them the recognition they deserve, but it will also preserve their legacy and memory right here in their home state and county. I’m grateful for their sacrifice and for the leadership community members displayed in fighting for this name change. Once you read these veterans’ stories, there will be no doubt in your mind that the Hinesville VA Clinic should become the John Gibson, Dan James, William Sapp, and Frankie Smiley VA Clinic.”

The legislation comes after a committee of community leaders met with Rep. Carter to advocate for the name change. 

Read the full bill text here.


John Gibson was born September 12, 1946, in Riceboro, GA. During the Vietnam War, he joined the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of PFC. He was deployed to Vietnam on October 12, 1967, and served 100 days in country, 65 of which were in combat, before being killed in action by small arms fire on February 7, 1968, in Quang Nam during the Tet Offensive. He was 21 years old.

Dan Ninkey James was born March 20, 1948, in Riceboro, GA. He was married and deployed to Vietnam in September of 1968 as a SP4 in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division. He served 100 days in Vietnam with 65 days in combat. He was killed in action by small arms fire on December 29, 1968, in Hua Nghia, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old. 

William Edward Sapp was born March 12, 1943, in Ludowici, GA. He joined the Army’s 4th Infantry Division during the war, reaching the rank of SP4 and was deployed to Vietnam in November of 1967. He served 175 days in Vietnam with 113 days in combat. He suffered multiple fragmentation wounds and was killed in action on June 7, 1968, in Kontum, South Vietnam. He was 25 years old.

Frankie Lee Smiley was born May 19, 1944, in Miami FL. He joined the Marine Corps, rising to the rank of LCPL in the 1st Marine Division. His tour in Vietnam began on January 5, 1968. He served 205 days in the country with 133 days in combat. LCPL Smiley was killed by small arms fire on August 25, 1968, in Quang Nam, South Vietnam. He’s buried at Kay Cemetery in Dorchester, GA. He was 24 years old.