Eighth Army celebrates dental clinic opening
U.S. ARMY GARRISON-HUMPHREYS, South Korea - Welcomed by the Eighth Army community, 65th Medical Brigade cut the ribbon to symbol the largest U.S. Army dental facility's grand opening on May 30.
Eighth Army also paid tribute to the late Maj. Marvin W. Carius and honored the surviving family members in conjunction with the grand opening of the dental clinic named in his honor.
Carius was an Army dentist known for turning out "combat choppers" under fire. He was killed in action while serving with the Medical Company, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division at the frontline during the Korean War. Carius was later awarded the Purple Heart for his wartime service.
Col. Jae I. Hwang, 618th Dental Company commander explained the meaning of the ceremony and the reason for taking the name of Carius Dental Clinic from Yongsan to Camp Humphreys.
"This is a memorialization of Maj. Marvin Carius and celebration of the transfer of Carius' legacy from Yongsan, which used to be the hub of Eighth Army," Hwang said. "As the center of gravity now moved down here, we believed it was the right thing to do to bring the name to Camp Humphreys so we can continue to memorialize late Maj. Marvin Carius."
"Carius Dental Clinic is a testament of the Army dentistry's commitment on the Korean Peninsula that began over 67 years ago by ultimate sacrifice of Maj. Marvin Carius," said Hwang. "His supreme sacrifice is the basis on which 618th Dental Company today continues the Fight Tonight Mission. This building represents our promise, strong partnership with the Republic of Korea and the long standing fight for freedom."
Hwang stressed the improvements of the new clinic upon the existing one and the necessity of it in order to facilitate the company's efforts to support the needs of Eighth Army.
"We are going to accomplish our mission without any issues because we had a limitation on the number of chairs, space and resources at the old clinic," said Hwang. "As we open this brand-new clinic, we have full specialty and great capabilities to provide quality armistice dental care and fight tonight."
Dr. Michael Carius, son of Maj. Marvin Carius shared his father's thoughts on the Republic of Korea.
"When dad left for Korea it was the last time that we saw him," Michael said. "In many of his letters home during the Korean War, dad wrote about how much respect he had for the South Korean people. Even during those difficult times, he saw them as a kind, gentle and industrious society striving for a better life."
Michael said his family never failed to remember his father's sacrifice thanks to people who constantly celebrated the legacy.
They are reminded of him on annual celebrations of his birthday and of his death, during frequent visits to the Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Ill., where he was buried, and during parades in their hometown Michael said. He added that the parades always ended at the American Legion building, in front of which was a flag pole dedicated in honor of our father.
The Carius family has a rich history of military medical service. Michael Carius was a doctor in the Navy and Air Force, and his son, Brandon, is a physician's assistant in the Army.
Michael said that his father was an honor to his family and expressed his gratitude for the Army's continued efforts to remember his father.
"Our mother always spoke so proudly about our father and his accomplishments," said Michael. "She felt especially proud when the original Army dental clinic in Seoul was named for him in 1959. Our entire family is extremely proud of our father and his legacy. We thank the Army for this recognition of him, his dedication and his accomplishments. It is a fitting testament to his Army and his dental career."
Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Tempel, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Regional Health Command - Central served as one of the guest speakers for the event. Tempel said the service at the new clinic will be in accordance with Maj. Carius' spirit while appreciating his family's attendance.
"I'm grateful to have the family with us as we honor our proud heritage and start a new chapter in the legacy of the Carius Clinic," Tempel said. "We are going to be providing state-of-the-art care with the same dedication and the same passion embodied by his legacy."
Carius Dental Clinic is a state-of-the-art facility with 79 treatment rooms capable of offering a complete range of oral health care service for 30,000 soldiers and their families. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 0730 to 1630, providing emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.