Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The memories are a floodin'

UPDATE: Photo added.

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Here's the only pic I could find. Desmond T. Doss is hugging a retired Army Major General (was there during the Battle of Okinawa, but I can't remember who he is) during a ceremony at Torii Station, Okinawa. This is officially a "U.S. Army Photo" but I did take this one. There are a couple of others around here somewhere but I can't find them.
THS posted this story at Swilling about Medal of Honor recipient Desmond T. Doss -- the only conscientious objector to receive an MoH.

I have some very personal stories about Mr. Doss. I met him 50 years after he saved his fellow soldiers and earned the MoH. During the 50th Commemoration of the Battle of Okinawa, held in May 1995, I was a young private (E-2) and had only arrived at my first duty station the month prior.

To write these stories and to be a part of such a huge event was truly baptism by fire. And, of course, I screwed it up. There were issues with ranks and proper names. I was really out of my depth and I didn't have very good leadership looking over my shoulder.

But I'll never forget those couple of weeks in May 1995 where I met some of the greatest men in America's history. Actors and other artists get remembered because they're in the public eye. Scientists and engineers get remembered because they leave their imprint on the world. These heroes should be remembered because they ensured we were able to do all of those things.

Please check out THS's post and the links she has there. Desmond Doss was truly a one-of-a-kind man.

I said in the comments there that I'm going to post some pics later if I can find them. Watch here for updates when I get home in a couple of hours.

1 comment:

Ken and Alice said...

So YOU took this great picture of Desmond Doss. I saw it daily in the stairwell of the 10th Support Group's headquarters at Torii Station when I was Army garrison manager there from 2002-2007. Doss was to ill to attend our 60th anniversary and had passed away by the time we dedicated a memorial to him in our clinic for the 62nd, but I sent photos and video to his wife Frances. You can see my pix at http://americansabroad.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html
Ken Spink