'He healed people’: Lynchburg honors veteran 75 years after he received Medal of Honor

Hometown hero’s legacy lives on and inspires others

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LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg honored a hometown hero with a ceremony Monday.

World War II veteran Desmond Doss received the Medal of Honor, the country’s most-prestigious military award, from President Harry Truman 75 years ago.

“It’s emotional, incredibly emotional for me. I can’t even express the appreciation that I have,” said Desmond Doss Jr. during the tribute outside his father’s childhood home.

The Army vet and Lynchburg native served during the Battle of Okinawa, saving nearly 75 American lives while refusing to wound enemy soldiers due to his religious beliefs.

“[My father] was a healer not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally, he healed people.”

Doss also received a Purple Heart for his bravery. He died in 2006 at the age of 87.

Organized by the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council, the ceremony included the proclamation reading recognizing the city’s second-annual Desmond Doss Day.

But the day was not only about a proclamation, it was about transformation. The Doss childhood home is now a home for vets who are formerly homeless and have fallen on hard times.

Dan Robinson is one of three residents who moved in last year. The 66-year-old Army vet admitted he wasn’t homeless, but needed help. He’s grateful for the new opportunity.

“I can get my life back together. To have a roof over your head, it’s good,” Robinson said.

Desmond Doss, an American patriot continuing to impact others 75 years later -- and counting.

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