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West Virginia hero Woody Williams’ legacy lives on in his foundation this Veterans Day

Nov 11 2022
Mark Curtis | WOWKTV

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — This is the first Veterans Day since the passing of West Virginia’s beloved Hershel “Woody” Williams but his work still lives on.

Years ago, he launched the Woody Williams Foundation, with it’s main goal being to help Gold Star Families – the families who lost a loved one defending this country.

Veterans Voices: Remembering West Virginia hero Woody Williams for Veterans Day

The foundation builds Gold Star monuments so that these families and others can gather, grieve and support each other. There are now 114 Gold Star monuments across the nation, with at least one in every state.

Woody received the Medal of Honor for valor in the battle of Iwo Jima, but he wore it in honor of those who didn’t come home alive, including fellow Marines who protected him.

“He had four Marines that were protecting him that morning, and two of them lost their lives. And that really had a profound impact on him for the rest of his life,” said Woody’s eldest grandson Brent Casey, a board member at the foundation.

Woody Williams Foundation raising funds for Huntington Gold Star Families monument

Sixty seven more Gold Star monuments are in the planning stages or are under construction now. There is even one in the U.S. territory of Guam where Woody Williams fought in World War II.

If you’d like to help, just go to