By Stacy Neumann (Fort Carson)August 2, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- The Pfc. Eric P. Woods Soldier Family Care Center was dedicated July 27 in honor of a combat medic who made the ultimate sacrifice in Tal Afar, Iraq, in 2005.
The U.S. Army Medical Department Activity hosted Woods' widow Jamie Woods, son Eric Scott, parents, grandparents and other members of his Iowa-based Family for the ceremony honoring the fallen hero.
While serving with 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Woods went into an area under fire to treat a Soldier shot by a sniper. Leaving the area, their armored ambulance was hit by an improvised explosive device. A team of officers and noncommissioned officers asked that the SFCC building be named for Woods.
His former platoon leader spoke at the memorialization ceremony, describing a confident and dedicated medic whose contribution gave his unit the ability to execute any mission.
"Many Americans have a good understanding that a combat medic is charged with saving lives at point of injury in an austere environment, and Woods excelled in that scenario many times during this tour," said Capt. William Hamrick, now commander of the Warrior Transition Battalion's Company B. "His family should be honored for the number of sons and fathers he returned home alive."
Woods' father, Charles Woods, wanted the group to understand the man they chose to honor. He described a son "full of life from the very beginning" who was active in sports, church and adored his wife and child. He also talked about a Soldier dedicated to his craft.
"He took his duty to heart and was always very concerned for the welfare of his guys," said Charles Woods. "He would call home and have us ship things that weren't available to him at the time. We're proud as a Family to see this beautiful medical facility and be there to carry Eric's name on."
Brian Woods spoke about how he was always trying to follow in his older brother's footsteps. He focused on leadership and pride.
"He was always in front of the line," Brian Woods said. "He was always striving to be a part of something bigger than himself. I'm proud of my brother for making the tough decision and doing the right thing when the wrong thing would have been so much easier. I'm proud of the way that he served his country as a medic. Once again, he gets to be part of something larger than himself, grander than he could do alone."
Brian Woods went on to say that he felt the building and the people inside embody all of the things he loved about his brother.
Col. John M. McGrath, MEDDAC commander, said that staff will endeavor to prove that the building is worthy of its name.
"We, like Pfc. Woods, have a duty to provide care to our own, in a military family environment that recognizes the sacrifices and stresses of the Army life. I know that occurs every day in this building," said McGrath.
The Pfc. Woods Soldier Family Care Center is located adjacent to and east of Evans Army Community Hospital. It provides support to more than 27,000 Soldiers, Family members and retirees. Each day, almost 500 military, civilian and Red Cross volunteers provide support for more than 1,500 patient visits.