Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport CA Military Art
Military Art Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport CA
Bridgeport Clinic Dedication
By, JOSN Dustin Q. Diaz, Public Affairs Office
October 7, 2004
BRIDGEPORT , Calif. — Sailors, Marines, civilians and veterans of foreign wars gathered at Naval Hospital Branch Medical Clinic Bridgeport the morning of Oct. 1 for the solemn ceremony of dedicating the clinic for Hospitalman Richard D. DeWert, a Navy hospital corpsman who received the Medal of Honor for his selfless actions in combat. DeWert was assigned to D Company, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division during the Korean War. That unit, known as “Dog 7,” was located at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. DeWert’s brother William, a former Marine, attended the ceremony and cut the ribbon to officially dedicate the clinic. According to the Richard D. DeWert Branch Medical Clinic Senior Enlisted Leader, Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Fred Kasper, the clinic staff wanted to rename the clinic after a Navy hospital corpsman who received the Medal of Honor.
The clinic serves the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center which was established in 1951 to train personnel for the Korean War so they decided on DeWert because he served with the Marines during that war. The ceremony featured guest speakers from “Dog 7” who fought in Korea with DeWert on Apr. 5, 1951. On that day, D Company was pinned down by enemy gunfire and began taking heavy losses. Despite being shot several times, DeWert repeatedly ventured into harm’s way to help injured Marines.
The fourth time he ran to a Marine’s aid, he was mortally wounded and fell over the Marine, shielding him from harm in his final act. Posthumously, DeWert became one of fewer than 3,500 members of the U. S. Armed Forces to receive the Medal of Honor, only 137 of whom are still living. Since its creation in 1861, the medal has been the highest award a Coast Guardsman, Airman, Soldier, Marine or Sailor can receive. Dr. Gonzalo Garza, a former Marine, was with DeWert on that fateful day and said that he was “a dedicated corpsman devoted to his duty.” “After he’d gotten shot and people were telling him to protect himself, he shouted back, “You do your job, and I’ll do mine!” Garza said. “That’s the kind of guy he was. Richard DeWert is a true American hero.” In addition to guest speakers, artist Todd Krasovetz unveiled the original painting of DeWert that he created for the clinic. He said DeWert epitomizes the relationship between corpsmen and Marines. Krasovetz has already made several paintings, “Wings of Hope” and “The New American Pride” for Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. “My brother is a hospital corpsman serving in Iraq so this hits close to home for me,” Krasovetz said. “It was an honor to be here today, especially with all these veterans telling their stories of Richard DeWert. “And to even be considered to paint a Medal of Honor recipient was something I could have never imagined,” Krasovetz added.
DeWert Branch Medical Clinic is an outlying clinic of Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton that serves Marines, sailors and their family members at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center as well as military retirees and other civilians within a 100-mile radius of Bridgeport, Calif. The MWTC is one of the Marine Corps’ most remote duty stations. In a brief ceremony before the clinic dedication, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Commanding Officer Capt. Richard R. Jeffries awarded the Captain’s Cup, a bi-weekly award given to one of the hospital’s departments, to the clinic for outstanding customer service and command support. “Whether it’s by having a 100% pass rate on the Physical Readiness Test or by saving NHCP more than $70,000 during renovations and more efficient practices, this clinic and its staff has consistently shown excellence in everything it does,” Jeffries said. “I’m proud to be able to come here and present this award, especially on such an important day.”
(Courtesy of the USMC)
HMCS Fred Kasper: Master of Ceremonies and event coordinator for the Richard DeWert Clinic Dedication, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California.
Some of the men of Dog 7 at the park and recreation area in dedicated to Richard D. DeWert at the Bridgeport, California Clinic. Notice the boulder and bronze plaque. Front row left is Art Contreras and right is Charles W. Curley. Standing from left to right are; Dr. Gonzalo Garza Ph.D, Frad Frankville, Bob Squires, Colonel Al Mackin, Jack Larson, Lt. Colonel Lealon Wimpee and Mel Corliss.
Richard D. DeWert display case, in this display is a medical tag that Richard DeWert filled out in his handwriting for Jack Larson when he got wounded (Jack received the Navy Cross for his actions). Also in the display is the original letter from Albertina Roy (Richard DeWert’s foster mother) to Captain Alvin Mackin after Richard DeWert’s Death. This display was assembled personally by Fred Kasper due to his deep respect and admiration of Richard DeWert.