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Medal of Honor Recipient and WWII Veteran Encourages Gold Star Family Monument in Lubbock

Feb 14, 2018

Paige Pauroso |Everything Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX - A Medal of Honor Recipient stopped in Lubbock to support Gold Star Families right here on the South Plains and talk with others about their ultimate sacrifice. 

Hershel "Woody" Williams and his foundation have dedicated 30 monuments in 36 different states to Gold Star Families for the sacrifice they have made, and he is trying to help fundraise for the next one in Lubbock.  

"I went into the Marine Corps to protect my country, from people I've never heard tell of, from a place I've never heard tell of," said Woody Williams, the sole surviving World War II Marine awarded with the Medal of Honor who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima.  

73 years ago next week, Corporal Williams earned his Medal of Honor in Iwo Jima after bravely running into battle to stop enemy attack. He said he did it all to protect the freedom of the county he loves. That freedom is something that many other soldiers gave their life to protect. 

"They're doing it, not for themselves, maybe not even for their country, but they're doing it for somebody else," said Williams. 

But Williams said families make the ultimate sacrifice when a loved one goes to war and does not come back.  

"We call them Gold Star Families, and we as a country and we as a society have not done anything to actually pay tribute and honor to those people, who gave a loved one so we could be free," said Williams.  

His foundation, the Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, honors Gold Star Families by creating monuments in their honor. The foundation's main goal is to have a monument in every state.  

The Military Order of the Purple Heart Lubbock Chapter is fundraising for their very own monument called the "Monument of Courage" to honor Gold Star Families on the South Plains.  

"They won't be forgotten and I hope that, that gives them some peace," Williams said.  

Williams is also speaking at an event to help raise money for the Lubbock monument.