April 4, 2002

Army Opens Texas Medical Center Named In Honor Of Local War Hero

PFC Charles Moore's son Brandon, and his widow, Judy Piper (left) joined Moore's parents, Dorene and Sydney (right) as the marble plaque in front of the medical center was unveiled during the dedication ceremony.


Too often history is lost and forgotten. That will not be the case for a former Memphis resident whose heroism was rewarded by the United States Army some 30 years after he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

On March 12, the United States Department of Defense unveiled its largest medical facility, the Charles Thomas Moore Health Clinic at Fort Hood, TX. The medical center was named in honor of the former Scotland County soldier who valiantly saved the lives of several of his comrades, losing his own life in the process.

"Pfc. Charles Thomas Moore was a young Christian man from middle America who responded to his nation's call and went beyond the call of duty," said Col. Donald J. Kasperik, commander Darnall Army Community Hospital.

He left behind a grieving widow and a three-month-old son.

"No one wants to give their life for anything, but this soldier did, so others could raise their families in peace. This clinic will continue to save lives," said Lt. Gen. B.B. Bell, commander III Corps and Fort Hood.

"This young man displayed every one of the Army values. It doesn't take very long to show us what a hero is," said Brig. Gen. Daniel Perugini, commander Great Plains Regional Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Sixty-six family members and friends from 11 different states, including PFC Moore's widow, Judy Piper, his parents, Sydney and Dorene Moore and his son, Brandon Moore gathered in front of the medical center for the ceremony.

"The ceremony was overwhelming. I didn't believe this was happening, until I saw the pictures of the clinic," said Judy Piper.

During the dedication a three-foot tall pillar of polished Texas marble was unveiled by Piper and Dorene Moore, revealing a large bronze plaque, bearing the image of PCF Moore along side his citation for the Distinguished Service Cross.

A number of distinguished guests were present for the dedication. Opening remarks were made by Col. Kasperik, Gen. Bell, and Kevin Cooper, regional director for Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Brigadier General Perugini, was the keynote speaker.

During the process the 4th Infantry Division Band performed the National Anthem and the Army Song. Benediction was given by Chaplain Lt. Colonel John D. Reed.

In honor of PFC Moore's ultimate sacrifice, Brandon and Sydney were presented honorary memberships in the 1st Cavalry Division by Major General Joseph Peterson, Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division, in which PFC Moore had served. The special plaque's stated, in part "Our division remains the First Team because of soldiers like PFC Moore."

Maj. Gen. Peterson presented Moore's widow and mother with yellow roses, signifying their loved one's contributions to the division.

Following the dedication ceremony a reception was held and tours of the building were offered. The focal point of the tour was a special display case inside the main entrance where memorabilia from PFC Moore's time in the service are on display. The display includes several photos, Moore's medals earned during his service, a framed "Tribute to Tom" written by his sisters, Sandra Moore Orr and Mary Ann Moore Kirkpatrick. Topping off the display is a miniature flag, hand sewn by Zelda Keith.

The evening was capped off with a dedication dinner for the "Moore Clan" as the large group of family and friends came to be affectionately known by their Army hosts. The event was held at the Plaza Hotel in Killeen, TX.

Additional items, including plaques and commemorative coins, were presented at this time to Sydney and Brandon Moore. On behalf of the entire Moore family, Brandon thanked everyone who had played a part in what he called a memorable and impressive dedication in memory of PFC Charles Thomas Moore.

The clinic, at 63,292 square feet is easily the largest clinic in the Department of the Army. With 74 exam rooms, it will eventually treat 30,000 beneficiaries. A complete staff of medics, nurses and physicians will provide primary care services to families and soldiers from the 13th Corps Support Command and the 1st Cavalry Division and separate brigades on Fort Hood.

"Medics practice in peacetime for times of war and this facility will help them do just that. I'm sure Pfc. Tommy Moore is looking down on us and smiling," said Kasperik.

The enormous project started construction in 1999 and ultimately was completed in February of this year at a cost of more than $11 million. The Moore family was notified in September of 2001 of the Army's decision to name the facility after Charles Thomas Moore.

Fittingly, Fort Hood, then Camp Hood, was the place Moore's father, Sydney was first sent when he entered the service back in 1944.

Part of this article was taken from an Army news release authored by Amy Stover, MEDDAC PAO.

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