Craig veterans clinic to be dedicated to Medal of Honor recipient |

Craig veterans clinic to be dedicated to Medal of Honor recipient

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

The Craig Veterans Telehealth Clinic will be dedicated to the late Maj. William Adams, a Craig native and Medal of Honor recipient, next week.

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced the dedication in a news release, describing Adams as a “Colorado Hero.”

The event, which will rename the clinic as the Maj. William E. Adams Veterans Telehealth Clinic, is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 20 at the clinic, 785 Russell St., and is open to the public.

Adams, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, died May 25, 1971, “in service to his fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War,” the VA reported.

Guests of honor at the dedication will include his widow, Sandra Adams; son Col. John Adams, of the U.S. Marine Corps; and daughter Jeanne Wayne.

An open house will follow the dedication until 1 p.m., and will include demonstrations of the clinic’s telehealth equipment and other services.

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The Craig clinic serves about 600 veterans who live in and around Craig, Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Rangely, Meeker, and Baggs, Wyo. Information on clinic care eligibility, other Veterans Health Administration facilities, and assistance on accessing veterans’ benefits will also be available.

The text of Adams’ Medal of Honor citation, as reported by the VA, is below:

“Maj. Adams volunteered to fly a lightly-armed helicopter in an attempt to evacuate three seriously wounded soldiers from a small fire base which was under attack by a large enemy force.

“He made the decision with full knowledge that numerous anti-aircraft weapons were positioned around the base and that the clear weather would afford the enemy gunners unobstructed view of all routes into the base.

“As he approached the base, the enemy gunners opened fire with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.

“Undaunted by the fusillade, he continued his approach determined to accomplish this mission.

“Displaying tremendous courage under fire, he calmly directed the attacks of supporting gunships while maintaining absolute control of the helicopter he was flying.

“He landed the aircraft at the fire base despite the ever-increasing enemy fire and calmly waited until the wounded soldiers were placed on board.

“As his aircraft departed from the fire base, it was struck and seriously damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire and began descending.

“Flying with exceptional skill, he immediately regained control of the crippled aircraft and attempted a controlled landing.

“Despite his valiant efforts, the helicopter exploded, overturned, and plummeted to earth amid the hail of enemy fire.

“Maj. Adams’ conspicuous gallantry, intrepidity, and humanitarian regard for his fellow man were in keeping with the most cherished traditions of the military service and reflected utmost credit on him and the U.S. Army.”

If you go …

What: Dedication ceremony of the Maj. William E. Adams Veterans Telehealth Clinic

When: 10 a.m. July 20

Where: Veterans clinic, 785 Russell St.

— The event is open to the public. An open house will follow the dedication ceremony until 1 p.m.