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West Virginia Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams to fellow veterans on COVID-19 vaccine: Definitely take it

Feb 4 2021
WV News

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WV News) — West Virginia’s Hershel “Woody” Williams, 97, is one of two U.S. soldiers left from World War II who received the Medal of Honor.

Williams has a simple message for his fellow veterans regarding COVID-19: “Definitely, take the vaccine,” he said in a message delivered through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Williams was inoculated the first time Dec. 22 at Huntington’s Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center, and received his second dose Jan. 19.

“I was the first one, really, to receive the vaccine at the medical center and I was very anxious to get that vaccine because of my age,” he said. “I certainly didn’t want to get the virus, so I waited patiently until the vaccine became available, then they were good enough to do me number one,” Williams said.

Williams received the Medal of Honor after he destroyed six enemy pillboxes — concrete-fortified defensive positions manned with machine guns — during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Williams used flamethrowers, which made him a key target for the Japanese, and basically left him with a bomb on his back that could be set off by an enemy round.

Williams also worked for 33 years as a contact representative for the Department of Veterans Affairs.