Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on January 23, 2013 @ 2:31PM
Created on January 22, 2013 @ 10:52PM
There was plenty to celebrate Tuesday at the VA Hospital in Clarksburg. A dedication for a first of its kind wall of honor, and a ribbon cutting for a new state of the art area of the hospital.
Hershel Williams was too short to join the Marines his first try. Then the requirements changed and he fought in World War II. He and his flamethrower enabled his Marines to move forward at a point when they had been in a stalemate.
Before Tuesday, there was no central location in West Virginia that is dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients.
"This is the first in the whole United States of America. To me, that's history," explained Williams. He had no idea what the nations highest award even was when other Marines recommended he receive it. Three days after his 22nd birthday, he did just that. Since then this has become something near and dear to his heart.
"It's a dream come true. It's a dream come true, it really is. It's almost like a miracle happening that I at times maybe had some doubt that it would happen," he said.
All the men on the wall were born in the Mountain State and are deceased. "Better than 50% of them were not living at the time the medal was presented. It was presented to the next of kin," said Williams. "So they gave their lives not for themselves, it was not a selfish thing, but for the assistance or the help of other people."
Williams hopes for a dedication wall in the other three VA Hospitals in the state. He wasn't the only one who was excited. Hospital staff was thrilled to have their ribbon cutting ceremony for their newly renovated specialty clinic and outpatient procedure unit.
"It's hard to believe that as we stand here this is a 60 plus year old building and it doesn't look like it at all," said Beth Brown, Medical Director.
There's now five more rooms with three special procedure units. Now patients won't have to leave the area from the time they're prepped to the time they actually get their procedure done.
"It's an exciting opportunity for us to bring services closer to where the veterans are and also to be able to provide them with good space and a very pleasant environment," explained Brown.
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