A Final Salute to Hershel 'Woody' Williams

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The passing of Hershel “Woody” Williams at age 98 marks not just the death of a hero, but the end of a line of heroes of the Greatest Generation.

Williams was the last surviving World War II recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor. The son of dairy farmers from Quiet Dell, West Virginia, Williams received the medal for his heroic actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima. 

 
He said later that, when asked where bravery comes from, he was never able to answer the question satisfactorily. 

“I feel that our upbringing had some influence on our bravery because we were taught in the Depression years, if you didn’t have it, you had to make it,” Williams said. “And the only way you could make it was to work at it. Our upbringing gave us the confidence that developed into bravery.”

Williams was discharged in 1945, but stayed in the Marine Corps Reserve until his retirement. He continued to serve through his foundation, the Woody Williams Foundation, which honors families who have lost a loved one in service to their country.

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In 2020, the Navy commissioned the expeditionary sea base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams in his honor.

“May all those who serve aboard this ship that will bear my name be safe and be proud,” Williams said at the commissioning. “And may she have God’s blessings for a long life of service to the greatest country on earth.”

The original post of this article was published on this site - RLTW

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