Craig’s Veterans TeleHealth Clinic celebrates new location | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig’s Veterans TeleHealth Clinic celebrates new location

Craig Press Staff
"Thank you for being my assistant scout master," Al Shepherd, 88, said aloud as he laid a rose and saluted the likeness of Maj. William E. Adams at the rededication Wednesday of the new clinic that bears Adams' name in Centennial Mall.
Clay Thorp/Craig Press

Community members gathered Wednesday afternoon to kick off a new location for an important program in Craig.

Maj. William E. Adams

Maj. Adams distinguished himself on May 25, 1971 while serving as a helicopter pilot in Kontum Province in the Republic of Vietnam.

On that date, 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 the 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 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.

The Major William Adams Veterans TeleHealth Clinic commemorated its new home with an open house and ceremony at Centennial Mall.

The service has allowed area vets to receive medical care through U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for more than a decade and was one of the first in the nation to utilize video conferencing equipment to connect veterans in rural and remote areas to doctors.

The clinic recently relocated from Russell Street to the space in the mall.

Sandra Adams, widow of Medal of Honor recipient Major William E. Adams, unveils a new plaque at the rededication of Craig’s Veterans TeleHealth Clinic in Centennial Mall.
Clay Thorp/Craig Press

Among those who were in attendance was Sandra Adams, the widow of Maj. William Adams, who gave his life during the Vietnam War, posthumously earning the Congressional Medal of Honor, among other honors.

A bust of the fondly remembered Craig soldier was included in the presentation, which had previously been housed in Wentworth Military Academy before being relocated to Craig.