This week, America lost a hero. Hershel William was born on October 2, 1923. He was the eleventh child of his parents.
Nearly 20 years later, the Quiet Dell boy from West Virginia dreamed about serving his country. Hershel was just 5-foot-6 and refused entry to America’s military forces with a world at war.
1943 was a time of a more difficult war. Woody was accepted by the Marines, where he acquired a unique skill. According to WSAZ, he “was the man who was trained as a flamethrower.”
This training would be extremely useful on February 23, 1945.
Training can be one thing but fighting is another.
Woody was actually made of steel.
He was with the 21st Marines’ 3d division under heavy machine gunfire at the Battle of Iwo Jima. According to the New York Post, Woody used explosives and flamethrowers to clear seven concrete bunkers, which were notorious for being pillboxes.
Williams kept pushing forward, even though his men were all dead. He once drove a flamethrower through one of the concrete boxes and killed the enemies inside.
He then refueled his gun, and boldly returned five more times to destroy all remaining pillboxes.
Woody was awarded the Medal of Honor for unfailing bravery.
He was a hero to his country and fellow soldiers. Woody worked for 33 years as a Veterans Service Representative at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He was also Commandant of the Veterans Nursing Home, Barboursville for almost a decade.
He was also a member of the Governor’s Military Advisory Board of his home state.
The Hill lists many other accomplishments and honors.
Williams was also named Distinguished West Virginian in 1981 and 2013.
Williams founded the Woody Williams Foundation…a non-profit organization…for Gold Star Families.
In March 2020, the U.S. Navy commissions a new warship. In honor of Williams’s hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, it is named the USS Hershel Williams “Woody”.
Despite his extraordinary courage under fire, the man was able to downplay it. He stated that he doesn’t recall much about that fateful day.
“It was just another battle, so far that I was concerned. ”
Woodys can be found in limited supply all over the world.
We are losing precious generation treasures at a time when they are needed most. Our pride is derived from our online identity. Virtue was the most revered. Sacrifice was the most cherished. The character was consecrated.
True courage can only be found in love
We must love our fellow Americans again.
It is evident all through the history of World War II. Through The Greatest Generation.
A sunken destroyer-escort, the USS Samuel B. Roberts I, was discovered in the Philippine Sea earlier this month.
From NBC News:
The Sammy B, despite being outgunned, attacked a fleet of Japanese navy vessels under Yamato. The ship was submerged in the Philippine Sea after it was hit by gunfire. Among the 224 crew members, 89 died.
This generation faced real danger and took risks because the things they had once held onto were gradually being discarded. The elders of our nation were able to confront the terrors of their time in ways that gave them a way back to a country worth fighting for.
Our country’s leaders are foolish and leading us into a dangerous future. We can learn from the past to get better advice.
Wednesday was a day when The Woody Williams Foundation released a statement.
Today at 3:15 am, Hershel Woodrow Wilkins, affectionately known as Woody, left this world to be with God. Woody and Ruby were reunited in a peaceful union.
The family stated that Woody wanted to express their deep appreciation for the support they received and also to let you know that Woody would love that people continue his mission. ”
This mission is described by the Foundation as
We’re…focused on the mission of honoring, recognizing, and serving Gold Star Families.
“Greater Than Me” — words that are rarely used anymore.
Hershel William, 98 was the last WWII Medal of Honor winner.