SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- "What makes today's event even more special is that it coincides with the clinic's 100th anniversary," said Brig. Gen. Michael Place, deputy commanding general of Regional Health Command-Pacific. "What began in 1919 as the Schofield Barracks Post Hospital will now be the Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic."
In attendance to honor his father's legacy was Desmond Doss Jr. and additional family members.
"It's not often I speak for my father, but I think it's safe to say he'd be incredibly proud of what we're doing today. It's not just about honoring my father, it's about the principles he stood for," said Doss Jr. "It's my hope that people going through these doors will hear his story and understand the kind of love he had for his fellow human beings and perhaps be an example. It's also my hope that the staff that works here will embrace the principles he had of compassion and complete acceptance for all people."
Cpl. Desmond Thomas Doss joined the Army on April 1, 1942, and refused to kill an enemy soldier or carry a weapon due to his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. While serving with his platoon in 1944 on Guam and the Philippines, he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals with a "V" device for exceptional valor in aiding wounded soldiers under fire.
During the Battle of Okinawa, he saved the lives of 75 wounded infantrymen atop the area known by the 96th Division as the Maeda Escarpment or Hacksaw Ridge. He was wounded four times in Okinawa, and he was evacuated on May 21, 1945, aboard the USS Mercy and was brought to Hawaii. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Okinawa.
Doss passed away at his home in Piedmont, Alabama, on March 23, 2006. He is buried in the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
"Today is a celebration of Cpl. Doss and the life he lived as a Soldier and medic. It is not about just placing a plaque on a building, but about sharing his military achievements and inspiring future generations," added Place.