Last Living WV Recipient of Medal of Honor Visits VA Medical Center


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - President Harry Truman described him as a man who went above and beyond the call of duty in the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. 

Corporal Hershel Williams, a retired United States marine received the prestigious Medal of Honor and made a special visit to the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg.

"We have a Medal of Honor recipient, Mr. Williams, who is visiting us which is truly remarkable to have him come honor us with his presence," said Timothy Cooke of the VA Medical Center.

As just one of 76 living Medal of Honor recipients in the nation, Williams is the last living recipient in West Virginia, as well as the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor from the battle of Iwo Jima. Williams shared his thoughts about his early years before becoming a U.S. Marine.

"I never heard of the Japanese! Never heard of the Pacific Ocean! But I said you're not taking my freedom. So I joined," said Williams.

Officials at the medical center were honored and touched with Williams’ visit, as he toured the facility.

"To have someone such as Williams visit here and represent Medal of Honor is just a tremendous personal feeling of gratitude for us," said Cooke.

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