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Last surviving Medal of Honor awardee at Iwo Jima speaks at UNLV

Nov 11, 2017 

Christy Wilox | News 3 Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — Hershel "Woody" Williams carries a red binder on the outside it says Semper Fi. In the Marine Corps that means "Always Faithful" and to his peers on February 23, 1945, he exemplified those words with his action. He said his job was a flamethrower.

Marines were dying on the field as the enemy laid inside bunkers or cement pillboxes. His commander asked him if he could use a flamethrower to kill the enemy and that’s what he did when he was given the task.

"I eliminated the enemy within seven of those pillboxes," Williams said.

On Veterans Day he spoke at UNLV. Williams speaks at almost 200 events a year at 94-years-old, but that’s not all. The Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation raises money to help build memorials for Gold Star Families.

Across the United States, there are 25 memorials so far. He said there are more than 50 others set to be built. Currently, Nevada is not one of those states. He said he knows there is a Veterans Memorial that will soon be built in North Las Vegas. He hopes he might be able to collaborate a Gold Star Family memorial at that site or another in Nevada in the near future.