WASHINGTON (TND) — The last living World War II medal of honor recipient has died.
Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams passed away early Wednesday.
Woody received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions at Iwo Jima," the United States Marine Corps. posted on Twitter.
Woody captured the warfighting spirit of all Marines—a combat-proven leader whose lifelong dedication to all service members and Gold Star families began with his heroic actions on Iwo Jima. His legacy as a warrior and an advocate for veterans will live on," according to the post.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs also shared a post about Williams' death. Denis McDonough, who is the secretary of Veterans Affairs, said America has lost "one of its bravest heroes," while veterans lost "one of their staunchest advocates."
Through times of peace and times of war, Hershel 'Woody' Williams dedicated his life to serving our country and its Veterans," McDonough wrote. "When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the Marines, deployed to the Pacific, and earned a Medal of Honor for his heroism and valor. When he came home from the war, he became a Veteran Service Representative at VA—serving his fellow Veterans for 33 years before retiring. And when he retired, he continued to advocate for Veterans by leading a foundation that serves Gold Star Families across America. Simply put, whenever the call to serve came, Woody answered and delivered."
McDonough continued, "The legacy that Woody leaves behind reaches across generations and across the nation. The VA Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia now bears his name, and his true legacy can be found in the countless lives that he touched over his 98 years. In one way or another during his amazing life, Woody Williams fought for all of us—and we are all forever in his debt."