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Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams says he wears his Medal of Honor for two fallen Marines

Apr 26 2021
Erin Noon | WOWK TV

MILTON, WV (WOWK)—He’s a West Virginia native, a war hero, and now he’s the nation’s last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient.

13 News reporter Erin Noon caught up with Hershel “Woody” Williams to find out how he feels about being the last one.

“It’s kind of emotional to be the last person from World War II,” said Williams.

After Charles Coolidge, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, died on April 6, Hershel “Woody” Williams became the last man standing. He was awarded the medal for his bravery as a U.S. Marine during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

He said “The medal has always been special, of course.”

But Williams doesn’t credit himself for the honor. He says he proudly wears the medal for two marines who sacrificed their lives to save his.

“Even though I didn’t know their names, I’ve said since I learned that the two of them have given their life, that I have worn the medial in their honor, not mine,” he said.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito says Williams has been a great leader in West Virginia.

“He’s a very inspirational speaker and I think has led generations in our state to really be inspired to serve our country,” said Capito.

And although Woody has been plenty of places around the world, he has always gravitated back to the Mountain State.

“I’ve been everywhere, but there is no place like home.”