MOBILE, Alabama — This Thursday Ilwaco resident Desmond Doss Jr. will be on hand aboard the USS Alabama to posthumously honor the memory of his father Desmond Doss, an Alabama native and Medal of Honor recipient.
Doss and four other winners of the nation’s highest military honor are being recognized at the 2017 Heroes for Freedom and Liberty Event and dinner.
Doss Sr.’s famous story inspired the filming and production of the award-winning film “Hacksaw Ridge,” directed by Mel Gibson. Doss Sr. died in 2006.
Medal of Honor winners on hand in person for the event are Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the battle of Iwo Jima, Donald “Doc” Ballard, Robert Patterson and Bennie Adkins.
The MOH recipients will join Glen Frazier, the last surviving POW survivor from the Bataan march, an infamous war crime that occurred in the Pacific theater of operations during World War II. Before escaping the Bataan march, Frazier was forced into slave work camps in the Philippines and Japan for three and a half years.
Funds raised at the event are earmarked for the Military Warriors Support Foundation “and will honor its founder Lt. General (Ret) Leroy Sisco after 10 years of honoring our wounded vets and providing nearly 800 mortgage-free homes with financial assistance and mentorship for veterans’ families,” according to a press release. A home will be granted to a veteran and his family at the event.
Desmond Doss Jr. is a resident of Ilwaco and a local firefighter with Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department and Pacific County Fire District No. 1. He sailed into Ilwaco harbor in 2000 on his way to Costa Rica, and has been here ever since.