Press Releases

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) introduced legislation to rename Lynchburg VA Clinic after Private First Class Desmond T. Doss, a highly revered Medal of Honor recipient from Lynchburg who saved dozens of lives in World War II.

“When his country called on him to serve, Lynchburg native Desmond Doss was able to square his deeply-held pacifist beliefs with the need to take a stand in a battle of good versus evil,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation today to honor Private First Class Doss, his service to our country, and the courage he displayed time and time again when he came to the aid of his fellow servicemembers.”

“I’m proud to introduce this bill to rename the Lynchburg community-based outpatient clinic after Private First Class Desmond T. Doss. This bill will honor the legacy of a courageous Army medic from Lynchburg who helped save the lives of 75 men during World War II,” said Sen. Kaine. “I urge my colleagues to join me in getting this bill across the finish line to commemorate his bravery and sacrifice.”

Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, Private First Class Doss was inducted into the Army in April of 1942 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a Seventh-Day Adventist, Private First Class Doss could have tried to refuse enlistment on grounds of being a conscientious objector. Instead, he enlisted as a self-described “conscientious cooperator,” going on to pursue medical roles in the Army.

While serving with his platoon in 1944 in Guam and the Philippines, he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals for exceptional valor in aiding wounded soldiers under fire. Later on, 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 – an act of heroism that earned him a Medal of Honor, awarded by President Harry Truman. Private First Class Doss was wounded four times in Okinawa, and was evacuated on May 21, 1945, aboard the USS Mercy and was brought to Hawaii.

The legislation introduced by the Senators would rename the Lynchburg VA Clinic as the Private First Class Desmond T. Doss VA Clinic. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Bob Good (VA-05).

This legislative effort has the support of a number of veterans organizations and groups, including: the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council Inc.; Salem VA Medical Center; American Legion Post 16; Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 196; Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 1607; Marine Corps League Detachment 759; Military Order of the World Wars, Piedmont Chapter; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Desmond T. Doss Post 12179; the National Center for Healthy Veterans, Valor Farm; and Monument Terrace Troop Rally. It is also supported by Desmond T. Doss, Jr.

A copy of the bill text is available here.