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Local Medal of Honor veteran to give demonstration at Huntington picnic

Jun 05 2021
Jessica Farrish | The Register-Herald

Local Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams will offer a demonstration at the 10th Annual Veterans' and Military Family Day Picnic on Saturday, as volunteers from the Raleigh County Veterans' Museum travel to Huntington for the picnic.

Williams, 97, will show how to use a flame thrower that is like the one he used during World War II, said Ron Hedrick, director of the museum.

In 2020, the military commissioned a U.S. Navy warship in honor of the U.S. Marine, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Hedrick said that a WWII 1946 Jeep belonging to Raleigh Veterans' Museum will be on display at the picnic, along with several more museum artifacts.

Under Hedrick's administration, a new museum facility has been secured on S. Eisenhower Drive. Currently, the museum is on Harper Road but will be moved to the new museum, which is larger. Currently, volunteer curators are seeking funds for the new museum.

"While we are honored to be invited and to participate in the event, we also look at this event as a way to advertise and fundraise for the museum," said Hedrick. "As we move forward with our new museum, the goal is to become a museum that people from all over the state will want to come and visit.

"So, by expanding our own travels and events to other communities, it will help to attract those visitors and, frankly, makes sense."

The picnic is open to all military members and veterans and their guests. Sponsors ask for proof of military service.

Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans of America Tri-State Chapter 949, Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District, Glockner Family of Dealerships, American Electric Power -River Transportation, Marathon Oil-Catlettsburg Refinery LLC, Mountain Health Network Inc. and Huntington National Bank, the picnic is a way of showing gratitude to veterans.

Free food will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, and Blue Country Band will perform.

The picnic is Saturday, June 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Harris Riverfront Park.