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Arsenal Health Clinic Named for World War II Medic

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Woodson' son Stephen and First Army Commanding General Antonio Aguto unveil the plaque.

A medic who saved hundreds of lives on D-Day has been honored by the Army. Thursday it named the Rock Island Arsenal's health clinic the Woodson Health Clinic, for Staff Sergeant Waverly Woodson, recipient of the Bronze Star and nominee for the Medal of Honor.

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Staff Sergeant Waverly B. Woodson, First Army, World War II

Retired Lieutenant General Thomas James says Woodson was a member of the only African American unit to storm the beach on June 6th, 1944. And despite being seriously wounded himself, he worked to save his fellow soldiers.

"Where do people like this come from ? For over 30 hours, over 200 soldiers that were wounded were treated, many lives saved, and then stabilized off to the next echelon of care. I am honored to have been in the same Army with Waverly 'Woody' Woodson."

After several days of medical treatment, he requested a return to the front lines. Congress is now considering awarding him the Medal of Honor.

Woodson's son, Stephen Woodson, says his father didn't talk much about his war experiences, until after attending a D-Day anniversary event in France.

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Woodson's son, Stephen Woodson

"And a lot of things that he participated in I didn't know about through most of my adult life. He was very, very proud to be a member and have served in the First Army. He spoke of that often. We still have his First Army uniform, it's hanging in my mom's closet, that's how important it was to him."

Woodson was called up again to serve during the Korean War, but since the Army was still segregated, he was assigned to an Army morgue. He went on to a long career in health care, including 38 years with the National Institutes of Health.

The Woodson Health Clinic on Arsenal Island serves hundreds of active duty soldiers and their families each week with primary care, mental health care, and physical therapy. It also provides care to hundreds of civilians who work at the Arsenal.