Special Reports

Woody Williams: A Living Legend

ONA, WV (WOWK) - We all remember significant "firsts" in our lives, but for one beloved West Virginia war hero, his "firsts" these days turn out to be extraordinary events.

You may have seen World War II Medal of Honor Woody Williams recipient at the Super Bowl opening the game with the coin toss.

We visited with this "living legend" when he returned to look back at some of his other significant "firsts" and see what's next.

A humble Williams seems to always be asking one question these days:

"Why did I receive the Medal of Honor instead of the guy who gave his life protecting me?" said Williams. "And I don't have the answer, but it is very humbling, extremely humbling, to be put into that position and you can't give an explanation of why it happens."

Like last year when a Navy ship was named in his honor: The USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams.

Or the time a military center named for him in his hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia.

"The only Marine to have his name on an Armed Forces Training Center ... why me?" Williams wonders.

It's simple. At a time we yearn for a real hero, Woody Williams is right in front of us: A Living Legend.

Soon, the Veterans Affairs center in Huntington, West Virginia could soon be named for him. U.S Representative Evans Jenkins is working on a move to do just that.

Williams Medal of Honor Foundation is busy building Gold Star Family monuments across the country to honor families of fallen service members. One of them slated to be built on the West Virginia capital grounds in Charleston will be the biggest one yet, according to Williams.

His biography Flamethrower: The Untold Story of Iwo Jima Medal of Honor Recipient Woody Williams, Japan's Genocide and the Pacific War by author Bryan Mark Rigg is set to be released in 2019. Pre-orders are available at www.woodywilliams.com

Who knows if a movie will follow. 

When I asked him if he would consider actor Matt Damon to play his role, he jokingly replied, "Why not me?"

I laughingly replied, you already played you so well (as a living legend), you can (take a break) and play a cameo role. He smiled and agreed.

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